Sketches on Atheism

The Omnimalevolent Creator and the Problem of Good

An adaptation of Christopher New’s 1993 essay: Antitheism, A Reflection

 DevilIf we found a bomb concealed in a children’s kindergarten, primed and set to detonate when it would wreak the greatest possible carnage, we would reasonably assume that someone vicious and vile – someone evil – had designed the device and had purposefully put it there maximise suffering. How much more reasonable must it be for the impartial observer to then attribute the world as we know it to a vicious and vile, non-contingent, omnipresent, omnipotent, omnimalevolent designer? Is this not, after all, the most likely explanation for the world before us?

Who else but a perfectly malevolent being would arrange for the enormous suffering present and guaranteed in our perilously thin, blisteringly violent biosphere? Think of the pain and destruction wrought by earthquakes, floods, cyclones, tornadoes, droughts, famines and disease. Would a benevolent designer have made provision for such assured suffering? Who but a hostile and sadistic being would design complex organic life, enveloped by sensors so acutely tuned to feel pain? Who but a blighted creator would model and shape the human brain, so exquisitely geared to experience fear and anxiety, and the capacity to foresee its own death? Would a benevolent designer have conceived of the parasitoid wasp, ring worm, the brain burrowing Human Bot Fly larvae, or the Ebola virus? Who else but a degenerate could conceptualise jaws and teeth and claws, so expertly crafted to puncture and tear at living flesh just so one beast – always the more violent and cunning – may steal another beast’s protein in a daily apocalypse of bloodletting? Who but perfect wickedness would envision cancer, so beautifully adapted to ravage and kill innocent children, or osteoporosis and arthritis to ensure maximum suffering of the elderly? Who but a thoroughly debased creator would design cot death? Who but a malevolent being would call His aesthetic masterpiece, Man; a creature as adept to enslaving, torturing and killing one, as he is to enslaving, torturing and killing ten million? Who but a contemptible being could so effortlessly herd humans and animals alike into defined Kill Zones along fertile river basins and the rich bases of volcanoes where the soils are irresistible, but calamity is assured? Indeed, is not the universe itself the greatest perversion, and therefore greatest proof of this creators existence? Who but the immaculate embodiment of malice would design such a thing; a contaminated prize always seen, yet forever out of reach. Is this not the crowning torment which a wicked creator would dangle in front of the eyes of a curious explorer?

Undeniably, we observe His hand in every corner of the world – an intelligently designed world – and through advanced ontological reasoning can conclude that the Author of Sin necessarily exists. If one can imagine such a being – a being with whom no worse can be conceived – in one possible universe, then that being’s existence cannot be intelligibly denied in all possible universes. The conclusion follows:

  1. It is possible that a maximally wicked being exists.
  2. If it’s possible that a maximally wicked being exists, then a maximally wicked being exists in some possible world.
  3. If a maximally wicked being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
  4. If a maximally wicked being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
  5. Therefore, a maximally wicked being exists in the actual world.
  6. Therefore, a maximally wicked being exists.
  7. Therefore, the Omnimalevolent creator exists.

While true there do exist sceptics and unbelievers, the only coherent objection ever presented by non-believers to deny the self-evident existence of an omnimalevolent creator is the so-named, Problem of Good. It is asked: if the owner of all Infernal Names is omniscient, omnipotent and omnimalevolent, why then does He allow the existence of good in the world? Either He can’t prevent it, in which case He is not omnipotent, or else He chooses to allow it, in which case He is not omnimalevolent. To answer we must distinguish between natural good and moral good. Natural good encompasses anomalous occurrences like health, good harvests, fine weather, and the temporary absence of earthquakes and pestilence; natural events which give limited reprieve to more assured passages of suffering. Moral good on the other hand arises from human actions that briefly promote wellbeing, harmony and peace rather than disorder and suffering which is the staple of all human civilisation.

drownedFirst, the existence of natural good may be explained as an inevitable consequence of the laws of nature; parameters that are necessary for the wholesale production of evil. If we are to cause harm, we must first know how to do so, and this requires the predictability found in the laws of nature as laid out by the Author of Sin. If, for example, we wish to drown unwanted girl-children, we must first know that unwanted girl-children (and human beings in general) cannot breathe under water. If we could not rely on this fact, and millions like it, our efforts to do wrong would be chaotic and ineffective, and suffering would be seriously reduced. Easy respiration on land is, therefore, a necessary residue, and superfluous good – natural good – is the minimum necessary for the overall production of the maximum of evil.

Second, the unsightly existence moral good – the good resulting from misguided human action – is little more than the anomalous consequence of free will; summarised generally as the free will defence. Simply put, we sometimes choose to do good, and the omnimalevolent creator has made the world such that we have the opportunity to do massive good if we choose. Why, the sceptic asks, would a perfectly evil creator permit such an abomination? The answer is as eloquent as it is villainous: free will is an evil in and by itself, for it makes sin possible and allows us all to approach a little nearer to the highest status of our wicked creator. Consider this: is it not worse to do evil by our own free will than being causally determined to sow mayhem? Granted, in creating men with free will the Great Architect of Suffering has to accept that sometime man may act for good rather than wickedness, but the greater evil that is realised through the possession of free will far outweighs the occasional good that also occurs through its existence. The world, in other words, is a worse place for the existence of free will.

For sceptics the free will defence fails, however, to answer why the guilty also suffer. If the omnimalevolent creator exists, sceptics rightly ask, why does He allow the guilty, who have never done anything good, to sometimes suffer? While superficially meaningful, the objection is as confused and disorganised as prayer. Since the Author of Sin promotes only evil, He has no interest in protecting the wicked from suffering, so it should not surprise us that the wicked suffer as well as the good; in that way guaranteeing greater misery is brought about. Whether it is the wicked or the good that suffer is of no concern to Him. It is the quantity and quality of suffering that matters, not the distribution, so He allows His pain to fall upon the unjust and the just in equal measure. It is clear, therefore, to conclude with great confidence that the problem of good is not insoluble, and that there is no compelling argument against the existence of the omnimalevolent creator.

Advertisements

458 thoughts on “The Omnimalevolent Creator and the Problem of Good

  1. This is what makes the whole Adam and Eve myth so ludicrous. If God is this great and wonderful being that people of faith have conjured up then why the petty resentment towards someone who was tempted by something that shouldn’t have been put within their reach in the first place?

    Like

      • KC,

        To understand the relationship between God and Adam and Eve one must understand the Hebrew concept of covenant.

        There is no divorce in Catholicism for example, because marriage is a covenant between man and woman.

        Each party in a covenant is bond by that covenant no matter what the other person does and the covenant is only void if one of the parties dies.

        So when God makes a covenant with people, there is blessing rendered for keeping faith with the covenant and there is a covenant curse rendered to people who break the covenant with God.

        Adam and Eve broke their covenant with God and the consequence was a covenant curse.

        There was no entrapment as both parties enter into a covenant of their own free will and with full knowledge of what they are doing.

        Trying to understand the Bible without understanding the back story is impossible.

        And that is why atheist analysis of the Bible or God is almost always totally ridiculous.

        Like

      • The relationship you’re describing here is that of a slave master and the bonded serf, as only one party had a say in the “covenant.” The ‘created’ has no say in the function or purpose of its existence: to worship said god. Failure to perform this single task WILL RESULT in punishment… so the story goes.

        Like

      • John,

        When we look at the entire story of God’s plan of salvation for mankind as portrayed in the Bible we get the opposite of slavery.

        We get family.

        God made the biggest deal out of freeing the Hebrews from slavery under Pharaoh.

        And with Jesus, God made a big deal out of mercy, compassion, love and men serving their fellow men.

        This was all done through the lens of covenant.

        You can’t understand the Hebrew God without understanding the Hebrew concept of covenant which runs through the Bible, A to Z.

        Like

      • Family, huh? As far as I recall, shortly after ordering everyone to worship him, and him alone, (“you shall have no other gods before me”), Yhwh murdered thousands because they disobeyed his order:

        Moses says: “Who so is on the LORD’s side, let him come unto me.’ And all the sons of Levigathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them: ‘Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel: Put ye every man his sword upon his thigh, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.’ And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men” (Exodus 32:26-28).

        How many “loving families” do you know that are ruled over by a murderous tyrant?

        Like

      • John,.

        I stated clearly that the covenant defines God relationship with man.

        1. Covenant requires loyalty and familial relationship.
        2. Living according to covenant brings blessing, breaking the covenant brings a curse.

        So guess what was going on with the people in your example.

        Like

      • OT covenant = Yah’s way or the highway.

        And Jesus’ conception of friendship is summarized as:

        “You are my friends if you do what I command you.”~John 15:14, ESV

        “Meet the new boss
        Same as the old boss”

        Like

      • Ron,

        Covenant is an exchange of persons.

        God gives Himself to man. Man gives himself to God. Personally.

        Family is covenant. And family is all about love and commitment.

        Like

  2. Rivers: a source of life and wellbeing running right through an area that will one day flood and kill the civilisation set up around it.
    Volcanoes: bringers of nourishment and excellent farming, perfectly situated in an area where we could be burned alive and have our worldly possessions destroyed at a moment’s notice.
    It seems set up for us to live in fear.
    If you make a person suffer for long enough, their endurance of the same stimuli becomes stronger. This is called “habituation”, and it is a method of normalising our experience. Therefore, we need goods to deepen our experience of suffering.
    Equally, “contrast” also normalises our experiences of suffering; our current state of affairs is compared to a ‘peak’ point. This mitigates our experience of repeated pleasure. It is therefore important to have a peak pleasure to put the suffering in such stark contrast.

    Omniscient, ingenious and exquisitely evil

    Like

  3. Oh my ever-present and all-powerful God! Do you have enough cheese to go with all that whine??!

    How is God (the all-powerful true creator of all reality) to blame for humanity’s bad choices and natural processes which go against our favor??

    As it is written: “shit happeneth.”

    Toke up and chill out. Life is beautiful!

    Like

      • John,

        Reality cannot be challenged with fantasy.

        Your “simple reversal” is a fantasy and is therefore invalid.

        One of the objectives of the study of logic is to discern whether a converse is valid.

        Such logical discernment is also taught in mathematics.

        Your converse is not valid for the reason state above.

        Like

      • Oooh, predicate logic, my alltime fav P relate to the validity of our initial statement or why is it even important in the first place?

        Note: there’s a whole in your proposition cz you skipped an un-defended assumption: P=reality cant be changed. P2=this reality was constructed by an omnibenevolent and omnipotent goddess.
        The post is about attacking the validity of P2 by showing how its complement (well a part of its complement, reality is done by a demiurge) is more valid in terms of evidence and lack of other contradictions needed to back it, “Evil can make good to deprive it from you” instead of evil for good.

        Like

  4. I thought we were supposed to blame the devil for the bad stuff? I can imagine Old Nick sitting on his dark throne, horned head in hands moaning “what is the fuckin’ point if you don’t get the credit?”
    Love the photo of the world’s most inept pearl diver by the way.

    Like

  5. Oooh, nice work! You need to invite some of the Christians who like to think logic leads them to the god God. I’ll go and invite Fide and Mark for you, Ark can invite his mate Unkleee and you can go resurrect PeW. This is going to be fun! 🙂

    Like

  6. I must admit, I have never found the ‘God can’t be good because humans suffer’ argument at all compelling. The only way for a god to create a non-suffering, vegetarian paradise would be to create something so bland that its inhabitants could never be bothered to get off their arses and create civilisation. Would you want to live in that world?

    Think of it as the artist’s dilemma – to create art of any kind, you have to build it around a central conflict, or tension. Otherwise you have repetition, superficiality, blandness and boredom. If God is the Ultimate Creator, you’d expect his art work to be full of drama, suffering, redemption and high emotion.

    I’m not arguing FOR God here, you understand. Just saying I don’t find this a good argument AGAINST God.

    Like

      • Ah, sorry. Completely missed the point. Malevolent, though? More of a creative spirit, I’d say. Name one truly great creator who has created something that’s all sweetness and light. In fact, art that’s sweetness and light usually gets called kitsch.

        Creating a benevolent world would be a contradiction in terms, I think. You would have to remove death or the possibility of death, and then you’d have to ensure that none of the inhabitants was intelligent enough to get bored of immortality and seeing the same people all the time and having the same boring conversations about isn’t it a nice day YET AGAIN. You’d have a planet of vegetables, more or less. What would be the point?

        As soon as death and decay enters the picture, all hell breaks loose (metaphorically and literally). But everything is much more dynamic and interesting, though sadder and more violent, and certainly the world most of us would prefer to live in.

        Like

      • Well, yes, we know all that, Crimes… You’re over-thinking it. Put down the coffee. Concentrate. The point was to demonstrate the logical banality of the benevolent creator concept 🙂

        That said, New’s did have a deeper point which explored the human rational for belief in the warm and fuzzy as opposed to the damaged and diseased.

        Like

  7. Well, I hope your dance card is marked cos you are sooooo going to hell. 🙂
    Your opening salvo says it all. It reminded me of a news snippet of Islamic extremists who recently threw a bomb over the wall of a primary school. Nice, eh?

    In truth, this will simply confuse the Crispyuns.

    BTW. See your mate, unklee, introduced Habermas into the mix. Did you read Bob S’s takedown?
    I just read Habermas works at Liberty in Lynchburg. You can Google, yes? Go laugh 😉

    Like

  8. This is another example of where atheists demand that God create heaven on Earth or else, “What good is He?.”

    Our universe is the way it is, the atheist obsession with alternative universes notwithstanding.

    Mankind and all of life, evolution, science, the whole shebang, would not exist without suffering.

    That’s just the way our universe is and unless the our universe is the way it is, we would not exist.

    Consequently, rational man has been pondering the real universe since he came out of the trees.

    And here is the answer to the conundrum of suffering as beautifully told in the Hebrew story of Job:

    Whether good or evil, sublime bliss or suffering, God’s will runs through it.

    The object of human life is not heaven on Earth, it is know God’s will.

    Like

      • John,

        That God is good can be determined through reason.

        Suffering has nothing to do with whether God is good or not.

        Our mission in life is to discern the goodness of God’s will no matter what we go through in life.

        That is the lesson taught by the ancients which includes the Hebrews, Greeks, Chinese, Japanese, East Indians and Christians.

        The atheist notion that if God existed he must be evil an absolute absurdity based on the Nirvana Fallacy (you can Google that if you wish).

        Like

      • Suffering has nothing to do with whether God is good or not=== so a person allowing suffering to exist doesn’t influence his evaluation of being good or not? Ok…

        Our mission in life is to discern the goodness of God’s will no matter what we go through in life. That is the lesson taught by the ancients which includes the Hebrews, Greeks, Chinese, Japanese, East Indians and Christians. === The Hebrew wanted to know the goodness of God and NOT to survive in a bronze age area/period trying to survive as a bunch of tribes against a bitching environment? And the polytheistic greeks wanted to try to learn the goodness of Jehovah? And so did the either polytheistic or non-theistic or agnostic Asian religions? Umm, are you trying to theo-ize the notion of “people are gonna try to do shit to make em happier over the generations?

        The atheist notion that if God existed he must be evil an absolute absurdity based on the Nirvana Fallacy (you can Google that if you wish).==http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_fallacy so… how is that applicable to saying that an evil Demiurge creator (which is something that was and is believed among some people) cannot exist while a love-and-rainbows goddess does?

        Like

      • Witch,

        Human life is best spent pursuing virtue.

        The great religions teach that.

        The ancient Greek and Roman philosophers taught that.

        Virtue is the human response to suffering.

        And since God’s will runs through it, and since great suffering and loss are inevitable in every human life (a great teaching of the Buddha), we are called to pursue virtue.

        In that way we attune our perception to God’s will.

        Like

      • Witch,

        By listing the various cultures and their amazing similarities to the conundrum of suffering I illustrated the commonality among men with regard to their approach to it.

        Like

      • You deduced (with a major duh factor) that people notice suffering and that realized that we can reduce it (even though each of em combined it with a different religious/ritualistic/supernatural outlook such as atheism, theism, monotheism, polytheism, non-theism, henotheism, the idea of an impersonal ultimate deity worth worshipping but who doesn’t do much, etc)

        Like

      • Witch,

        I didn’t make a point about reducing suffering.

        My points are aimed at debunking the absurd notion that God is malevolent.

        The “duh factor” in my comments is me making the complex, simple and easy to understand.

        It means that it is easy to understand that the notion of a malevolent God is absurd.

        Like

      • the duh factor was that your argument’s evidence could be boiled down to basic facts (shit happens and we don’t like it) but that fact does nothing to support your argument that “God lets shit happen but he’s still ok”, it likewise does nothing to the post’s argument “God likes shit happening so suck it ya stupid humans”. It’s pretty much irrelevant

        Like

      • Witch,

        Because God is the God nature and nature’s laws, God doesn’t “let shit happen.”

        You need to sit down and think about what that means.

        Part of what it means is that you think like an ancient pagan, that the gods are capricious, and their reasoning unknowable.

        The Western Heritage which began with the Hebrews and ancient Greeks and continued through Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas through to Galileo, Isaac Newton and the Enlightenment, teaches that the laws of nature are knowable and that “shit doesn’t just happen.”

        Shit happens is typically atheist in fact because it means everything happens all by itself.

        Like

      • Witch,

        For an equation to be true both sides must be equal.

        2 = 3 to an atheist only because the atheist says so, not because it is reason true.

        Consequently, you can write false equations all day long, but it’s a waste of everyone’s time, yours most of all.

        The object of higher learning is learning how to write equations that are true.

        Like

      • Dear SOM, here’s a lesson in pronominal anaphora
        shit happens. if you had actually tried to pay attention you would’ve known that shit referred to suffering. so, yeah i ddnt make up an equation, i just clarified a pragmatic referent

        Like

      • Witch,

        Suffering happens for a grand variety of reason.

        In this universe, the real universe, and not the grand variety of alternative universes conjured up by atheists, everything has a cause.

        That means everything happens for a reason.

        But there you are, the pre-modern thinking atheist arguing that “shit happens.”

        Nothing could be more preposterous. Here is an equation you just proved:

        atheism = preposterous

        Like

      • Witch,

        You, the typical atheist are now reduced to denying your own words and thoughts.

        atheism = preposterous.

        I lasted only 30 seconds as an atheist because it became too embarrassing.

        Like

      • Actually I’m a theist, my deity is just more coherent.
        And no you didn’t cz as i said shit=suffering.
        ur more tiring than a freshman writing class student…

        Like

      • John,

        All math students strive to develop the same understanding of mathematics.

        Similarly, traditionally educated Christians will express the same doctrines and inclination toward reason.

        But that by no means indicates the factory like conformity of thinking displayed by atheists.

        It just means that like the ancient Greeks and Romans, we learned to reason.

        Have you ever seen the series Spartacus?

        The script writers did a great job showing the main character, who owns a gladiator school, use old Roman style reasoning to work his way through problems.

        Postmodern people like atheists would find that type thinking strange to say the least.

        Like

      • Witch,

        When having discussions with atheists, preaching a particular religious faith isn’t purposeful.

        My comments are about all of mankind through out all of his history, both religious and philosophical, no matter the culture.

        And no matter the time, the place or the culture, men determined that understanding God’s will in the good times and the bad is the objective of human life.

        The atheist obsession with heaven on Earth has unleashed the greatest brutality and mass murder in human history.

        So it is easy to conclude that atheist “thinking” is dangerous, deadly and anti-human.

        Like

      • And no matter the time, the place or the culture, men determined that understanding God’s will in the good times and the bad is the objective of human life. —– Umm…. No, it was understanding why life’s a bitch; the Abrahamic God is just an optional variable

        The atheist obsession with heaven on Earth has unleashed the greatest brutality and mass murder in human history.=Who? Stalin? Yeah… That dang atheist, why couldn’t he be nice like all the other peaceful theists like Hitler or another long list of Abrahamic-influenced theist hippies like the Crusaders, Bin Laden, etc. etc. etc.

        Like

      • I meant the worshipped deity is variable: Abrahamic God (granted the character profiles of Yahweh, Jesus+Father+Spirit, Allah (though kinna Yahweish) are different), polytheistic patron spirits of certain domains of the natural and cultural world (though at most you can break them down to a finite list of areas), etc, etc, etc, etc. Seriously dude, open up a random anthropology book.

        Like

      • Witch,

        Your comment indicates a lack of ability to discern the difference between right and wrong.

        Because error is varied and many, doesn’t mean what is true does not exist.

        A tome on anthropology is not needed to understand simple common sense.

        Like

      • And your comment shows that you don’t how to construct an argumentative essay where you maintain an explicit argument throughout and only provide subarguments/evidence in support of it, negate counterarguments by actually providing info that actually counters them, maintain linked multi-sentential paragraphs where you illustrate (but only with prose), paraphrase, and link content words with clear referents (what’s the error? polytheism? non-monotheistic Jewish-centered worship? That’s just way off topic dude). I should know, I have had to correct them.

        Like

      • Witch,

        Apparently you are creating your own meaning for my comments instead of understanding the meaning I give to my own comments.

        People who do that can’t learn anything because they never get out of their own head.

        Like

    • Poetry=Whether good or evil, sublime bliss or suffering, God’s will runs through it.The object of human life is not heaven on Earth, it is know God’s will.
      Layman’s terms: shut up ya human, I’m making a mess of this because I wanna just because. I know you want to know why I led some dude some other dudes – I really get that you wnat to know dear- and I would explain to you but you wouldn’t understood, so shut it.
      Yeah… I guess there’s a good reason why the phrase “The Great Orator” never pops up around the word God on google search suggestions

      Like

      • Witch,

        Understanding God’s will makes a lot more sense as the object of human life than constantly railing about all the suffering in the world and blaming God for it; and spending life trying to create heaven on Earth.

        The Christians tell of God who born as a man, endured the worst suffering at the hands of His brothers and replied:

        “Father, thy will be done. Into your hands I commend my spirit.”

        Jesus is actually quoting Old Testament scripture from the Hebrews.

        So the notion that we pursue the understanding of God will, and not heaven on Earth is well described by the ancients.

        And you are so correct. That story is so poetic!

        Like

      • by poetic I meant lacking in clear and simple prose without explicit connectives of predicate logic.

        Understanding God’s will makes a lot more sense as the object of human life than constantly railing about all the suffering in the world and blaming God for it; and spending life trying to create heaven on Earth.—>Recap: we should try to understand the will of Jehovah the creator God instead of noticing how the world is an imperfect creation and casually saying that because the product is defective the creator is.

        (tangent thought about jesus saying that his death was predestined….)

        So the notion that we pursue the understanding of God will, and not heaven on Earth is well described by the ancients: Huh? Umm… So, a guy who got human sacrificed in 33-ish AD cites an OT verse about Yahweh pre-ordaining certain things; THUS, that’s a well defense of why we should continue finding out about other ‘destined’ events instead of wondering why the destined events couldn’t be improved?

        Like

      • Accepting reality=God’s doing it because he’s doing it and you won’t understand why, so get over it, and do something else.
        The ‘deducation’ doesn’t negate the post’s main idea of how weak a defense God-is-good-but-he-allows-evil-but-that’s-still-okay-and-the-idea-totally-cant-be-reapplied-to-defend-a-malevolent-creature-but-with-better-accuracy-or-understandability

        Like

      • Witch,

        “God doing it because he’s doing it,” is an absurdity that I have already addressed in previous comments.

        If you believe in evolution and modern cosmology then you must conclude that no life would exist without suffering.

        We would be totally different and inhuman creatures in an alternate universe where suffering didn’t exist.

        Conjuring up alternative universes is not a rational response to the reality of the universe we actually live in.

        Logically, a fact cannot be proven not to be a fact by conjuring up a fantasy.

        Like

      • “God doing it because he’s doing it,” is an absurdity that I have already addressed in previous comments.— No you didn’t, in fact you kinna must’ve skimmed Job if you didn’t get that from the
        if you believe…yada yada yada. Your counter-evidence does nothing against the argument “the allowance of evil makes God less than omnibenevolent+omnipotent.

        Like

    • Our universe is the way it is

      Yes! And underneath the satire, that’s John’s point as well. In other words, we don’t need a god to explain the state of our universe. It simply is the way it is.

      And if there is a god, it’s not a one-dimensional god like the one in the Bible. Like all advanced beings, he would be capable of both good and evil. It’s that capability that actually allows someone to be either “good” or “bad.” The god created by the Bible is an obvious construct.

      Like

  9. This is a brilliant concept! I mean, no Christian could possibly disagree with this and at the same time uphold his rationale for an all powerful hero who does nothing but good superhero stuff. You sure have some believers by the balls here, as I’m sure the omnimalevolent creator would have liked it!

    Like

      • Witch,

        Who are you to judge whether reason is done well?

        You’re lack of ability to comprehend reason is not a standard of judgment.

        The question is, “Do you understand, or not?”

        Like

      • Reason is done well when it is lucid and follows a consistent and non-irrelevant flow of information and argumentation with a lack of fallacies, use of evidence, qualified statements, etc. etc.. I understood what you were saying, but the reasoning was flawed.

        Like

      • A.,

        Atheists give opinions and support their opinions with more opinions.

        I have used history, religion, philosophy and reasoning to show that the notion of a malevolent God is an absurdity.

        A conclusion based on reasoning is not an opinion, it is the result of a proof and is therefore a fact.

        Like

      • I have used history, religion, philosophy and reasoning to show that the notion of a malevolent God is an absurdity— actually you cherry picked and twisted the historical evidence to say that humanity is coming together to worship the ultimate good lover in the sky, including pre-christian greek schools of philosophy and the indian subcontinent

        Like

      • That’s because there are some synapses not firing correctly in your brain. You never use reason. If you used reason, you would attempt a similar thing that John did here wherein you would propose a counter-argument using the same logic the other side (in your case, atheism) uses. Because you are unable (or refuse to do so) and cannot conceive of what an argument would look like from the other side, you therefore can only produce logical fallacies. I.E. you’re close-minded.

        Like

      • Lary,

        Conjuring up a fantasy is not using reason it is using sophistry.

        As I already explained to John, if fantasies are allowed as arguments against reality than nothing can ever be known nor can truth or falsehood ever be determined.

        God is all-good, because that is his true nature.

        Both Plato and Aristotle (two different approaches to philosophy) reasoned out God’s nature over 2500 years ago.

        Like

      • So, by your reasoning god can never be known as it is a fantasy against reality. That is the point here. Religious texts use fantasies to try to prove outdated principles against a reality that is very different from a moldy book that’s been re-translated and re-written more than we can keep track of.

        The great thing about science is it is right no matter your opinion because if you use different experiments and come up with the same conclusion–well there’s reality. Reality will always be reality with or without some god. Furthermore, if there was ever some sort of being, it wouldn’t prove YOUR god, it would prove that aliens existed, no more. The point of reality is that it’s existence can be proven, down to its subatomic particles. It was not created from some magic fairy dusted farted out by some old bearded man in the sky, kk? Sillyness of the mind, you need to go back to school or read more scientific literature so you understand what we talk about. that’s not an insult, that’s trying to encourage intelligent discussion and debate. All hail the flying spaghetti monster!

        Like

      • No, no it wasn’t. Provide real references. Not outdated Greek philosophers–which, if memory serves its purpose, I believe one of the philosophers you mentioned actually proposed the construction of the atom and thus was the birth of subatomic particle science. So no, god wasn’t proven. Science, however, was and continues to be validated. Old quotes by old philosophers prove nothing. This may be a new concept to you SOM, but in order to prove something you have to have actual physical evidence. So please, do share where your references come from.

        Like

      • How come you can never provide evidence? It’s sooooo simple. I sincerely hope you live in a bubble so that you have no effect on others’ lives because you clearly cannot handle this reality. You come on here claiming we insult you but instead you insult us and never present valid arguments. Even Ken Ham presents better arguments than you and the guy is practically brain dead! Please take off your bigoted glasses and start being respectful to those of us who have a purpose in life to make this earth better for others (fyi-we’re not waiting for heaven, us atheists have EVERYTHING to live for, Everything.)

        Like

      • Lary,

        Evidence only works if reason gets applied to it.

        Since atheists cannot reason (because atheism is a 100% faith-based belief), their demand for evidence is just a thinly valed smoke screen for malignant ignorance.

        You believe in global warming yet it is a proven hoax.

        You believe in socialized medicine and Big Government even though such things are proven failures.

        Lary, you wouldn’t know evidence if it was Judas and gave you a kiss on the cheek.

        Like

      • Are you for real? Global warming has been accepted by over thousands of scientists internationally! Out 66 developed countries, only 61 of them are doing anything about it. We are of the 5 that are not doing enough because of people like you. Have you ever read behavioral studies on people such as yourself who believe in hoaxes? The studies correlate lower education to the activity of believing in hoaxes.

        Furthermore, what am I supposed to have faith in, hm? Atheism means not believing in any gods. None, Zip notta. That doesn’t take faith. *throws up hands* I don’t know how you cannot get that through your empty mind. YOU are the one that needs faith. Jesus fracking christ. Not only that, you are so incredibly horrendous on your own blog about gay rights and women’s rights you wouldn’t understand something good for humanity if it heaven hocked a big luge on you. WOW, your willful ignorance just astounds me in the age of information.

        Like

      • Lary,

        Einstein developed Relativity through pure reason.

        It took science decades to catch up.

        There is nothing more nonsensical than applying science to God.

        Since God is the God of nature and nature’s laws, God is beyond the reach of science.

        Like

      • Um, Einstein didn’t believe in a god. Just FYI. I get real sick of you militant christians trying to claim scientists as advocates for your purposes.

        And no, Einstein did not develop it through pure reason. He had an idea and he tested it to the best of the technology that was available to him at the time. Indeed, some science today is even disputing his idea because our technologies advances. You wouldn’t be able to use a computer if it weren’t for science, so show it some respect! Stop touting your ridiculous and incredulous beliefs. I hope you know only about 30% of the younger population calls itself religious–by 2050 they expect religion to be gone. You’re ideas and opinions are bigoted and outdated. Either change or just sit down and shut up. Unless you have valid arguments we don’t want to listen to your bs.

        Like

      • Lary,

        What Einstein believed is irrelevant.

        That’s just you moving the goal post because I demonstrated that you are dead wrong and have no idea what you are talking about.

        Like

      • Lary,

        You changing the subject and expecting me to waste my time following a link doesn’t address my claim that the demand for evidence is a mask for ignorance.

        You claimed that evidence is always necessary.

        Einstein and his Relativity prove you wrong. It took decades for science to catch up.

        Like

      • No it did not! Where is you fracking reference to that? I can legitemately provide a reference for the fact that Einstein did not believe in god and believed religion to be childish. You can’t continue to spout how I’m changing the subject (when I’m not) and that I’m wrong (when I’m not). You have such a logical fallacy that it defies even what a labotomy could do for you.

        Like

      • No, it took a few years for the first experiment to be done, which was performed by Eddington on the first full eclipse following publication. The beauty of science: testable.

        Like

      • John,

        Eddington didn’t do squat concerning E = MC^2.

        1905 to 1945 is decades my good man.

        And other parts of Relativity weren’t proven until just recently.

        You’d know all of this if you had the faintest idea about Relativity instead of a bunch of half baked talking point.

        Like

      • Who’s even talking about E = MC^2? Honestly SOM, you’re the master of diversion.

        Now, let’s get back on topic. As I stated: you still haven’t mounted a counter-argument to the clear proof that this universe is designed by a malevolent creator. I have demonstrated this being exists using both observation and logic. … so far, you haven’t put a dent in either.

        Care to try, rather than circling aimlessly?

        Like

      • John,

        E = MC^2 is the core of Relativity. It is a mathematical expression showing the unity of the universe vis-à-vis matter and energy.

        And don’t blame me for changing the subject. It was Lary falsely claimed that science always has evidence.

        If you want to see my argument just read my first few comments again. They explain how the malevolent God is an absurdity just like every other atheist argument.

        Like

      • Mindless nonsense. You said nothing and countered not a single point. Now, be a good fellow and, if you’re capable, prove a non-contingent, supremely intelligent, omnimalevolent designer did not create (and continue to influence) the world. To do so you’ll have to counter my presented observational evidence, as well as my ontological argument, and address the presented solution to problem of good. Good luck.

        (And FYI, science always proceeds from evidence in the form of observation. Experimental evidence follows the presentation of a thesis).

        Like

      • SOM, i’ll give you one more chance to present a coherent counter-argument to the post. If you reply with more senseless drivel i will simply ignore you. Fair warning?

        Like

      • I don’t see any counter-argument anywhere. I see a lot of nonsense, however. Perhaps you can try again? Do remember, observation and logic, SOM. Counter my arguments here if you can, punch holes in them if you’re capable, and disprove an omnimalevolent creator exists…

        Like

      • Why argue?

        As you put it yourself—the evidence in favour of an omnimalevolent God has far more going for it (from simple observations) than any propaganda in favour of a Mr Nice Guy God.

        The Monty Python team did a thing on the old hymn ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ (‘cos the Lord God made them all, remember?) which I’ll see if I can track down ‘cos it sums it all up nicely. More soon, i I find it …

        Like

      • That’s twice ol’ God has upset my aim. If He does it a third time I’m outa here—

        “All things dull and ugly,
        All creatures short and squat,
        All things rude and nasty,
        The Lord God made the lot.
        Each little snake that poisons,
        Each little wasp that stings,
        He made their brutish venom.
        He made their horrid wings.

        All things sick and cancerous,
        All evil great and small,
        All things foul and dangerous,
        The Lord God made them all.

        Each nasty little hornet,
        Each beastly little squid–
        Who made the spikey urchin?
        Who made the sharks? He did!

        All things scabbed and ulcerous,
        All pox both great and small,
        Putrid, foul and gangrenous,
        The Lord God made them all.

        Amen.

        Like

    • Chris New did a great job, didn’t he? His essay is far more detailed, but he approaches it as a “Why don’t we have this theistic tradition” type of line, which is quite valid. If we are honest, why not entertain such a proposition? Is it not the more reasonable explanation? His conclusion: men need to hope.

      Like

  10. Reblogged this on Finding Truth and commented:
    John Zande’s post is a brilliant work of satire that shows the problems of trying to match the state of our universe to the existence of an omni-benevolent god. Definitely worth a read.

    Like

  11. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. “Genesis 1:27

    If the Christian God created man and woman in his own image with the capacity for both good and evil then, surely, he has this same capacity, else humans wouldn’t be “in his image”.

    Like

      • Well, yes, SOM. You are correct about humans not being exactly in God’s image. He is infinitely powerful. Humans are not. So in that regard God has the capacity for both much greater good and much greater evil than mankind.

        Like

      • I’ve read them. I don’t think they prove what you think they prove. All they prove is that by your reckoning he is all good, by nature and definition – not the a god definitely would be all good.

        It’s simply that if the God you worship chooses to wipe out entire nations, or communities, or the entire planet by your reckoning that would be good because your God did it. Any man who does such things is called evil.

        Like

      • Ruth,

        There is nothing in my comments that is “my reckoning.”

        If you’ll notice I cited history, religion, philosophy, science and mathematics, not of which I had anything to do with.

        Atheists are the one’s who use themselves as authorities for their own arguments.

        And that, as we all know, is a classical logical fallacy.

        Like

      • SOM,

        I’ve read through your comments on this post. I see where you have talked about history, religion, science and mathematics. What I don’t see is where you ‘cited’ them. That would be an actual citation, not a deduction of yours, not a paraphrase. While you have boiled it all down to ‘this is the way the universe is, deal with it’ that’s the same conclusion we all share. None of what you have ‘cited’ proves anything about a god of any description.

        That you have faith is a fine and well and I don’t think anyone here begrudges you having that faith. What we all begrudge is that you think that somehow your opinion is fact. I don’t see where anyone here has presented as fact that no god exists. It’s just that based on the relevant facts – even the ones you present – that if a god exists he/she/it is the Christian God nor that this god is particularly good.

        Like

      • Ruth,

        Common knowledge does not need to be cited.

        I am assuming that everyone here has studied at the graduate level.

        If you can be specific maybe I can go get a citation although it’s hard to pin point understanding gained through decades of reading and studying.

        Like

      • I’m not asking you to provide citation. I’m asking you not to say you’ve cited material when you haven’t.

        At any rate you have accepted certain things (i.e. the goodness of God, that any god must be the Christian God, etc.) on faith, not fact, no?

        Like

      • Ruth,

        I have cited science, mathematics, philosophy, religion, history and the mechanics of reasoning.

        Science teaches that man is a product of the laws of nature which indicate that suffering is intrinsic to our universe.

        All the great religions have teachings concerning the conundrum of suffering.

        Philosophy, a secular method of expressing systematic thinking and teaches the nature of God, man and universe. I use the philosophies taught most by Aristotle.

        History is a written record of when and where things happened. It gives context to science, philosophy, religion.

        Mathematics, like philosophy is an expression of systematic thinking which expresses and models the laws of natures.

        All of these magnificent, beautiful golden threads are woven together in a tapestry of reason.

        And from that tapestry we can clearly determine that God can only be all-good and that suffering has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the nature of God.

        However, suffering has a lot to do with nature of man and the nature of our universe.

        Like

      • Apparently form all those things that form a tapestry you can determine that God can only be all-good and suffering has absolutely nothing to do with the nature of God.

        1. Atheists do not believe that a god exists. Not that definitely no gods exist, but not a particular one with particular traits.

        2. The only reason that atheists attribute anything to a god is because religious people don’t seem to understand any logic for a universe that doesn’t involve a god.

        3. Atheists are not whining and blaming any god for any thing because they don’t believe one exists.

        4. Using that same tapestry of Science, Philosophy, History, and Mathematics atheists have deduced that either gods don’t exist or they are not omnipotent, omnipresent, benevolent gods.

        5. History, Philosophy, Science, nor Mathematics – nor any combination of those things – definitively proves the existence of any god, much less a particular god.

        That you haven’t sufficiently convinced any of us otherwise should speak volumes to you. Instead of calling us names and deciding we are without the ability to reason perhaps you should reevaluate your ability to prove what it is you think you are proving.

        Sigh…

        Like

      • Ruth,

        Just as Einstein developed Relativity through pure reason (it took decades for science to catch up), the existence of God can be proven through reason.

        Therefore, atheism is a rejection of reason.

        In fact, if you wish, I can prove that atheism is a 100% faith-based belief.

        Therefore atheism is a rejection of reason by its very nature.

        Like

      • What is your understanding of what atheism means? Perhaps we are operating with different definitions here. You engaged me here, so the burden of proof is on you. I’m not trying to prove there is no god. I do not find sufficient evidence for a particular god(i.e. the Christian God or the God of the Bible). You are more than welcome to attempt to prove anything you like.

        As for your comment about ” assuming that everyone here has studied at the graduate level.”

        Am I to interpret that comment to mean that if one hasn’t studied at the graduate level that they are stupid, or lack the ability to reason, or don’t read books? Am I to interpret that to mean if one hasn’t studied at the graduate level they should just take your word for it since you have done all this study and “thus sayeth Silence of the Mind, case closed”? There are a lot of people who have studied at the graduate level that can’t reason their way out of a wet paper bag.

        Like

      • Ruth,

        You last two comments have been based on the logical fallacy called moving the goal post.

        Moving the goal post amounts to changing the subject each time you have been proven wrong.

        The topic of this post is the Malevolent God.

        I have explained clearly, in elementary language using elementary reason why the notion of a Malevolent God is a fantasy.

        And using your own “reasoning,” if atheists don’t belief in God how then can they possibly reason out his nature?

        One of the ways we learn about things is by learning from the people who know those things.

        Consequently, learning about God from atheist is an absurdity.

        I have just approached this post from the viewpoint you expressed in your last comment and even then the Malevolent God comes up as an absurdity.

        Like

      • This post was clearly satirical. Did you not get that? It is simply that you have reasoned in one direction and atheists have reasoned in another. I didn’t move the goalposts. Atheists are simply saying that an all benevolent God is as fantastical as a malevolent god, since we don’t believe a god to exist.

        Like

      • Ruth,

        Since the existence of God can be proven through reason and atheism can be proven to be 100% faith-based, atheists must approach the topic of God from their own absurdity.

        Like

      • That is your assertion. You keep saying you can prove it, I have yet to see that.

        Let’s see your facts, then we can discuss the absurdity thereof. Most of the atheists I know don’t assert with 100% assurety with regards to a deity. Most are both agnostic and atheist, since insufficient evidence exists to prove a deity does exist.

        Like

      • Ruth,

        I have been expressing nothing but facts woven together with reason.

        And yet you continue to ask for the facts.

        Atheists are as impervious to proofs as they are the facts.

        But here is the proof that atheism is 100% faith-based.

        You will notice that my proof is based on the meaning of the word, “faith.”

        1. Atheists say that atheism need not be proven
        2. Faith is the belief in that which cannot be proven.
        3. Therefore, atheism is a 100% faith-based belief.

        Beliefs that are 100% faith-based must, by definition be a total rejection of reason.

        Like

      • No one has said that atheism need not be proven. It is a starting point. You don’t have a belief about something or even deduce through reason that a thing exists without some proof. Agnostic best describes that position. Most atheists are agnostic. Most would not assert that no god or gods exist. They simply don’t see sufficient evidence to prove that one does exist.

        Atheism comes when one realizes that proof of the existence/non-existence of a deity exists. Because it cannot be proven we simply refuse to play pin the tail on the most high god. Even if one does exist, we don’t know which one. So we subscribe to philosophies and ethics of living as if there weren’t one because we cannot know which one.

        This post was to point out the absurdity of assigning any attributes to an unknowable entity.

        Like

      • Ruth,

        Many, many atheists say they need not prove atheism for the burden of proof is on the shoulders of believers.

        If that is not the case, then prove atheism yourself.

        Since you can’t, by definition your belief is 100% faith-based.

        That is a simple fact, which as an atheist you will totally deny.

        That is because atheism is the faith of denial as it denies reason, facts, experience, tradition, science and the rich heritage of human endeavor.

        Like

      • Look, SOM, we could go round and round the mulberry bush til we all fall down.

        My assertion is that it is unknowable whether a god exists or not. I have used the same scientific, historical, philosophical, and mathematical facts you have. We have come to different judgments about those facts. That humans have worshiped various deities is a fact. That one exists or that a particular one exists (or not) is a matter of reason – using those facts to come to a judgement.

        You have concluded with the facts that a god, and a very particular god exists. I have concluded that that cannot be proven. If my lack of belief in something that cannot be proven is 100% faith-based then so be it. I’m not going to believe that a thing exists to satisfy you and even if I did I surely wouldn’t believe the right one exists based on the evidences and ‘facts’ presented here.

        You seem to play it fast and loose with your terminology with regards to facts. Indeed you have conflated your ‘reason’ with fact. All agnosticism/atheism does is deny your reason and logic and I think it would be most unproductive to discuss this further as I don’t imagine I’ll convince you of anything. And if you don’t have anything better than “I’ve woven together with history, science, philosophy, and mathematics along with my own reason and logic” to prove that agnosticism/atheism is wrong then I think you won’t prove anything to me either. That is not to say I can’t or won’t be proven wrong, just not by you if that’s all you have.

        Agnosticism/atheism uses every bit of the facts and reason you speak of it’s just that if anyone comes to a different conclusion about those facts using their reason you conclude they are illogical. Faith in a particular god is illogical. I’m not sure why you think that you could use ‘facts’ to prove something illogical. So I pretty much think we’ve played this discussion out as far as it will go.

        Like

      • Ruth,

        I’ll take your latest bit of verbiage as an admission that you cannot prove your own belief even though you require that other prove the existence of God.

        There is nothing in any of your comments that is logical, historical, philosophical, scientific or religious.

        What you have proven is that 100% faith-based believes such as atheism are unbounded by reason, and thus, make any claim any time anywhere that suits whatever discussion is taking place.

        Like John with this post, you have used fantasy to counter well known facts.

        Like

      • Maybe this is a better way to say what we are all trying to say:

        I have an invisible reindeer that farts rainbows. Can you prove that I don’t?

        Like

      • Ruth,

        You have done exactly as I said all atheist do:

        You have used a personal fantasy to counter facts.

        If fantasy can be used as argument against the facts of reality than it follows that there is nothing that can be known.

        Of atheisms many philosophical catastrophes are that nothing can be known and that any given thing can mean anything.

        In other words, meaning is in the eye of the beholder.

        That is a postmodern worldview called constructivism.

        Like

      • I think that we are at an impasse:

        I think you live in fantasy land because you believe in the existence of something that cannot be proven to exist.

        You think I live in fantasy land because I don’t believe in the existence of something that cannot be proven to exist.

        What you haven’t done is use any actual facts to prove that an entity that should be called god exists. You claim to have cited science, philosophy, history, mathematics, and reason when all you really did was use those words in a sentence – several times – with the filter of your reason/logic, of course. I did the same thing you did, yet because I’ve come to a differing conclusion I haven’t used them.

        To each his own. C’est la vie.

        Like

      • Interesting point and I’ve trolled it a few times elsewhere, if “Man is only an image of God.” as you stated above … then God has a toggle and two too?

        Ergo by association of ideas there has to be a Mrs God? (Or do they ‘live in sin’ as the expression until recently, was?)…. I think that being such a moral guy, ol’ God had to have gotten married, soonest. How else could he be such a paradigm of infinite compassion and mercy as JZ went to such pains to point out above?

        Like

  12. Interesting blogging technique: adapting a longer essay. Fantastic picture choices, btw.

    I think religions have dealt fairly well with the problem of suffering (well, in their religiously sort of way, that is):

    Theistic Dualism: good and evil gods — none being omnipotent, of course.

    Karma: — suffering due to past life stuff or secret plan of Karma.

    Ontological Dualism: Matter is bad, Spirit is good. Our job is to escape.

    In all of the above, there is not an omnipotent creator with a plan.

    But even the Monotheistic models have ways around the problem of evil: “god’s mysterious ways”, “for your good in the long run” and other ridiculous escape hatches.

    A naturalistic explanation certainly has the greatest parsimonious explanatory power, of course. And it illustrates how those supernaturalists are skilled cognitive contortionist.

    This sarcastic essay to prove the undeniability of a malevolent omnipote is a fantastic mirror to help theistic contortionists that their heads are twisted so badly that they are aiming toward a very dark hole.

    Like

    • Sabio,

      “God’s mysterious ways” are reserved for the unknowable, like God being a trinity of three persons or whether there are a chosen few who get saved verses all men can be saved if they make the right choice.

      The notion that God is malevolent is provably absurd by way of reason.

      Like

      • And what “reason” is that, SOM? Now, do please be specific. You haven’t countered any of the posts points, so i hope you can adequately detail your objections.

        Mirror-world is fun!

        Like

      • John,

        The basic, bottom line reasoning that destroys this post and sends it to Noah’s Ark’s latrine is the following which I have already explained:

        Fantasy cannot be used to as an argument against reality.

        Your malevolent God is simply a product of your imagination. There is no reality or factual basis for it.

        As I explained to Ruth, I used history, science mathematics, religion, philosophy and reason as the basis for my arguments.

        I never once expressed a fantasy or an opinion.

        I used the facts to prove that your malevolent God is a fantasy.

        Like

      • @ John Zande:
        Thanx, mate. And I will leave SOM to you — I’ve read his comment and as you know, I hate over-generalizations, be they those made by theists or atheists. So these quotes by SOM showed me that dialogue with him would be a mind-numbing waste of time:

        “Atheists give opinions and support their opinions with more opinions.”

        “Personal insults are all atheists have to offer at the end of the day.”

        Like

      • Ive watched enough Spiderman to know that his profession could account for his super intellect and piercing insights. If only he had a website where I could educate myself on his flavor of Christianity.

        Like

      • Sabio,

        You have written another insult, exactly as I predicted you would.

        A normal person would be totally ashamed of such hypocrisy.

        But as you so clearly demonstrate, atheists aren’t like ordinary people.

        They can insult people all day long and think they are doing God’s work.

        Like

      • Sabio,

        You just proved my point.

        Instead of offering a reasoned argument, you responded with personal insults directed at your opposition.

        I say it. Atheists do it.

        Proving that I know atheists like I know every inch of my glorious naked body.

        Like

      • I didn’t insult you SOM. I just know the conversation would be a waste of time because of my unreasonable, illogical, atheist-damned mind. I didn’t want to waste your time, so you could spend more time with your own “glorious body”.

        Like

      • nah, it was imagining yours, in all its celestial glory that was the challenge since I am eating lunch at work.
        This is such good fun, but I may not be able to play much longer.

        Like

  13. John – I didn’t know you were a fellow believer in the existence of Angra Mainyu. I thought I was the only one convinced of his obvious and clear existence which is witnessed by the qualities of our universe! That it is undeniable is clear and I’m so glad you agree with me on this. This is made abundantly clear from the truth revealed to us from our prophet Zoroaster. I personally have a preference for Ahura Mazda, but as you and I both know with certainty is that they both exist even though people will have their own preferences toward one or the other.

    Seriously though John – great post as usual. Stephen Law posed the “evil god challenge” in his debate with William Lane Craig and Craig was thrown off quite a bit from his usual script. It’s worth a watch.

    Like

    • I have to admit, I did chuckle a bit using Craig’s ontological argument 🙂 I’ll have to look up Law/Craig’s debate. That sounds like fun.

      I have a lot of respect for the thinkers behind Zoroastrianism. They did not create an absurd, entirely illogical belief system. At the very least, it deserves a polite round of applause.

      Like

      • I agree John – the Zoroastrians were aware of the problem of evil and eliminated it. Too many Christian apologists are so caught up in a box of traditional ideas and don’t want to consider other ideas which would resolve the biggest problem their belief faces.

        Like

  14. Why is this considered satire? Is it because it presents a malevolent creator? There must be somewhere someone or some group of people believe in such a creator. And I don’t see how a belief in a benevolent god isn’t a joke in the face of what we observe around us.

    Why should the belief in such a creator be considered fringe and believe in other deity consider rational? Where is the difference?

    I have seen it written here by some that the problem of evil doesn’t present a challenge to theism. I don’t see how this is so, unless the theist believes in some deity other than the one usually touted as having omni powers.

    Like

    • I’d say its satire in the sense that it uses every theistic argument for the existence of a benevolent god, forcing the apologist to don the hat of the atheist to counter the claim of malevolence. Chris New, as you know, was interested however in the larger question as to why this tradition does not exist, and its damn good question.

      Like

      • Mak – I think you have a very good point. If ontological arguments for an omni-malevolent deity are not treated as scholarship then why are the arguments for an omni-benevolent deity treated that way? This does seem to be a bias that we have for the way we would like our gods to be rather than a more rational objective approach at looking at our world and determining what is true from that. I personally don’t think that what we desire should have any effect on what is objectively true. This is part of why I am not convinced at all by the argument from morality which seems quite popular among apologists.

        Like

      • Agreed, on all accounts. The main point Christopher New was making in the origin essay (linked up the top) was to call into question why there doesn’t exist a tradition of theism focusing on an omnimalevolent creator when the arguments work just as well, and in many cases, even better than for a benevolent creator. Why do we choose the more illogical belief? Why do we go against Occam’s Razor? The answer, he says:

        “lies more in our hearts than in our heads. Men are inclined to believe what they would like to be true, and they would like it to be true that man is the creature of God, not the Devil, that man has a loving, not an indifferent or malevolent, creator, and that man has a leading role in the evolving drama of the universe, rather than a mere walk-on part. Hence we have a theistic, but no antitheistic, tradition of intellectual inquiry. Not because theism is rationally more plausible than antitheism, but because it is more comforting to believe.”

        That is bad, bad, bad scholarship… but is anyone surprised?

        Like

      • We are in agreement.
        I think the people who make use of the argument from morality and argue for a divine lawgiver makes very extravagant claims with little or no support for it. I don’t consider it a very serious argument.

        Like

  15. If we are able to perceive God as malevolent, who do we then perceive as benevolent? If evil comes from God, where does good come from? In other words, if we have the concept of evil, what are we comparing it to which makes us label it as evil? Or is evil the absence of good, such as darkness in the absence of light?

    Like

    • Whether or not there is a God good vs. evil is a human invention. If God exists he created us to handle the world as it is, and probably didn’t even care whether or not intelligence popped up amongst the throng. You have to remember that humans value what humans have, that is intelligence, two legs, a big brain, etc. If God exists, he might regard these the same as he regards the ability to withstand intense heat or strong acids, or decades without water.

      Like

      • You seem to be describing a pantheistic god here, and that certainly makes far greater sense than any personal, mindful, benevolent concept presented by the Yahwehist.

        Like

  16. John, I’m mostly impressed with the fact that you managed to respond to almost all of your replies. That indicates how seriously you take this subject and engaging others with its contents.

    I am a Christian theist and enjoyed this blog post. I think it represents well-founded criticism of both traditional antitheism and traditional apologetics. Is there a benevolent god and problem of evil or a malevolent god and problem of good? Who among us knows what morally good endpoints there are for a Creator? Will the learned and the wise please give their answer?

    Like

    • Hi Thinker. Seen you around, and happy you’re here. I’m certain you’re going to offer far more in 100 words than our lovely resident, SOM, will offer in 10,000 🙂

      By “morally good endpoints” you mean the problem of is something good because it is indeed good, or is good simply because god says its good? It is an interesting conundrum for the theist in that it directly calls into question the nature of worship. I just did a short post on that, The Moral Autonomy Argument, but to paraphrase: to worship one must give up their moral autonomy, and this makes it impossible to know the object of worship is good, and a non-good object of worship isn’t worthy of worship.

      The main point Christopher New was making in the origin essay (linked up the top) was to call into question why there doesn’t exist a tradition of theism focusing on an omnimalevolent creator when the arguments work just as well, and in many cases, even better than for a benevolent creator. Why do we choose the more illogical belief? Why do we go against Occam’s Razor? The answer, he says:

      “lies more in our hearts than in our heads. Men are inclined to believe what they would like to be true, and they would like it to be true that man is the creature of God, not the Devil, that man has a loving, not an indifferent or malevolent, creator, and that man has a leading role in the evolving drama of the universe, rather than a mere walk-on part. Hence we have a theistic, but no antitheistic, tradition of intellectual inquiry. Not because theism is rationally more plausible than antitheism, but because it is more comforting to believe.”

      Like

      • John,

        The Thinker is not Christian.

        The absurd and disproven notion that God is malevolent means that Jesus would have to be malevolent since he is the Son of God.

        Consequently, it follows that if the Thinker favors your post he cannot be Christian.

        Like

      • John,

        These discussions are of great value.

        I don’t understand why you atheists become so hostile and abusive.

        Just think what your mentality would lead to if you folks held real power over others who expressed disagreement with you.

        Scary…

        Like

      • John, thanks for your in depth response. I’ll explain what I think of by “good endpoint” because it’s interesting for both atheist and theist to consider. When I think of the problem of evil (applied to Christian theism), it seems well to divide the indictment into two parts. The first part asks the question, is God morally wrong for permitting evil in this world? The second asks, is God morally wrong for using a design with suffering and natural evils?

        In the indictment of God it helps to think about what kind of moral theory we would use. We could pick from consequentialism, social contract theory, normative ethics, deontological ethics, etc. In the US court system if you try someone for criminal negligence (which is basically permitting evil, what we are going for) the theory used is deontological. This is the idea that we have duties. For example, a mother that neglects a child leading to its death is presumed to have the duty to care for the child. Here’s the problem you run into. How do you know what duties the Creator has to the creation? I don’t mean to ask what are possible duties; I mean to ask, epistemologically, how do you know what the duties are? Or, suppose we use consequentialism (the end justifies the mean). If the mean is permitting evil, then what could be the end? Maybe the end could be to determine who wants eternal life. Would this particular end be worth permitting evil temporarily? Lastly, one thing that often gets overlooked in the moral calculus is that God is will judge the world and enact perfect justice in the future. Does this make a difference in our charge against God?

        Next, we can talk about how this universe is a bad design since it contains natural evils and suffering. This line of thinking states that this world is a bad design because it causes everyone to suffer. A good design would lack suffering. Here’s where “good endpoint” comes in. This world is definitely a bad design if the endpoint was to eliminate suffering, that’s clearly not an endpoint of our universe. This world is designed to meet other endpoints. What are these? Theologians talk about freedom and ability to develop a “relationship” with God and being spiritually reborn and so on. The real answer is that no one knows, epistemologically, exactly what this design’s endpoints are. Or, suppose that we did know, that it was primarily for us to be spiritually reborn. How would we know if this design was fulfilling the endpoint effectively? I’m not saying it’s impossible, but rather pointing out the difficulties.

        My overall criticism and what I think Christopher New’s essay contributes so beautifully to, is that both sides, atheists and theists, are asking too much of their own arguments to indict God and to provide theodicy. As it stands, there are too many mysteries in the analysis to go one way or the other with much confidence. This is why scripture constantly calls us to trust God on this issue, because we are in a position of unknowing. I tell you, John, if you trust God, he will build within you a righteous mind, capable of withstanding the fires of judgment. Trust is just as important as belief.

        Oh, and I feel like I’ve written to much to comment on Christopher New’s analysis of why theists steer clear of the malevolent god idea!
        -Brandon

        Like

      • You can write as much as you like, Brandon. No problem. I’m however a little confused as to where you were headed with your comment, and preaching salvation at the end wasn’t really necessary.

        OK, so end-points, for you, means the ultimate purpose; a goal, an objective (albeit perhaps unseen now in reality) where everything makes sense. An idea as to how to achieve this end-point is by leading a moral life; doing good with an eye on the reward: knowledge and enlightened peace. Fine objectives. I think it foolhardy and reckless, however, to place any trust in some cosmic justice system. In fact, I think it to be fundamentally immoral (and anti-human) to do so. Such was the affirmation of the Enlightenment: we can solve our problems ourselves, rationally, with an ethical eye (guided by the best information we have) to reducing suffering.

        “As it stands, there are too many mysteries in the analysis to go one way or the other with much confidence”

        -There’s only a mystery if you think there’s a purpose. I don’t think purpose is actually needed to lead a full and happy life, although I can give you one right now: to understand the universe. Life is the universe trying to understand itself. That gives me greater comfort and purpose than a million (hidden, secretive, deceptive) cosmic fatherheads who’re apparently waiting to welcome me home. If that’s “home,” and if that’s who’s sitting by the fireplace, then I think I’ll stay on the road of exploration, thank you. There’s nothing welcoming about that idea.

        You see, humans are desperately prone to believing things like this. Home is a tremendously alluring concept, and when we’re obsessed by something our brains can play marvellous tricks. We see agency in inanimate objects. Most of us have an external locus of causality. We believe things happen for a reason… a hidden reason with a conscious will behind it. It’s how we make sense of the universe and perform our all-too-important multi-flavoured Terror Management systems.

        People just love the idea of a father figure deity, but a personal god is impossible, plus its so plainly an anthropological thing. It’s cultural. We can see the evolution of the gods from ancestor cults, to animism, to totemism, to pantheism, the polytheism, to monotheism, and finally to the wise aliens of the UFO religions. Pragmatically speaking, the universe just doesn’t even require a god. The only possible metaphysical end point here (of some “purpose”) is some form of reincarnation; of continuance of some conscious thread up/down/along the rungs of a wheel. This satisfies all need for justice without an overseer god, and without any of the irrational/illogical baggage. Again, though, the idea of reincarnation is a Terror Management system. A human defensive mechanism to our own mortality.

        “Trust is just as important as belief”

        -That’s irrational, plus it contradicts itself. The moral autonomy argument lays that out pretty clearly. Contradictions to one side, what you’re suggesting is also immoral. This is the type of thinking (defeatism) that sees parents of sick children refuse medical care. This is the type of defeatism that sees people remain in abusive relationships. It’s the type of stunted thinking that ruined Europe for the 900 years the Church was firmly in control… a period we call the Dark Ages.

        Like I said at the top, I’m not really sure where you were headed with the comment, but if we’re just talking end-points, then there are an infinite number of them, and the idea that there might just be one is, I think, the most dangerous thought to have ever entered man’s head.

        Like

      • Thanks, for your response, John, it pushed me to think hard, what I like!

        Regarding “endpoint”, I don’t mean “ultimate purpose”. By endpoint I mean something that may be better described as “architectural objectives”. We as agents don’t fulfill the architectural objectives, the universe does. Then, what are these architectural objectives? I honestly don’t know. The more important question is, can these architectural objectives be so good that evil and suffering is justified? Again, I don’t know. And, I will humbly admit that this scheme requires a consequentialism theory of morality. It requires that the objectives for the universe justify the inclusion of evil and suffering.

        Keep in mind, this is not supposed to be a satisfactory explanation. It is no theodicy. However, suppose for a moment that there exists a satisfactory explanation. If this is the case, we don’t seem to know what this explanation is. Why would God hide it from us? It may be so that we freely put our trust in him. It may be some other reason(s).

        Actually, as my thoughts come streaming out, this seems like a good way to frame the issue. In my belief system there does exist a perfectly satisfactory answer to the problem of evil, but God has hidden this answer from us. So, the important question is, why would God hide it? Is it immoral for God to hide it? Here we go again. We should start by deciding what moral/legal theory we would like to convict God under for hiding the solution to the problem of evil and suffering. . . Will we really amass enough evidence to convict God?

        On your next few thoughts you described the tendency to see external agency (aka agenticity) and the desire for a father figure (Freud right?). I trust modern psychology’s findings on agenticity, and I don’t prima facie reject Freud’s explanation of theism. What I am interested in is, what does agenticity and Freudian explanation have to do with whether God exists?

        “That’s irrational, plus it contradicts itself. . . what you’re suggesting is also immoral. . . This is the type of thinking (defeatism). . .”
        I’m having trouble understanding your argument. Do you mind explaining more precisely what is irrational/immoral/defeatist and why exactly you think it is?

        Like

      • Hi Brandon. Interesting stuff.

        I’m still a little confused as to what architectural objects are? I understand its sometimes very difficult to articulate concepts, but if you can elaborate a little it’d be greatly appreciated. I’d like to get a handle on what’s in your mind so I can try and understand it. What I think you’re hitting at is the “why’s” of the universe as is.

        “It requires that the objectives for the universe justify the inclusion of evil and suffering.”

        -I think this is all the atheist is saying, although the words “objectives” and “justification” would be omitted as it denotes intelligent agency. It’s just the way this universe is. That said, there could well be room for the word, “compulsion,” but that’s on really thin ice. The compulsion is a sure movement from simplicity to complexity; from the lighter elements to heavier elements. Arranged as such, and given a heat source, these elements arrange and rearrange, with some arrangements enjoying greater permanency, while other arrangements dissipate more easily. Those arrangements with a great propensity to permanency “live on” to follow the compulsion to greater complexity. Side note: A researcher named Jeremy London has recently proven mathematically that the earliest “life” (very, very, very loose definition) might well have been rudimentary molecular arrangements that more easily dispersed solar heat.

        “Why would God hide it from us?”

        -It’s a fine question. Granted, there could be some other reason, but I feel if we’re going down that path then we have to jettison all concepts of a personal, watchful, mindful, caring god. A deistic god, or better still, a pantheistic notion, best fits this possibility. Pantheism is not off the table in my mind. It’s my 00.01% wriggle room. Out of interest, have you ever read, Gods Debris, by Scott Adams? It’s available free online, a small book (100-odd pages) and presents a very compelling argument for what “god” might in fact be. I really, truly, positively think you’d love it.

        “What I am interested in is, what does agenticity and Freudian explanation have to do with whether God exists?”

        -I’ve never read Freud, so I’ll have to take your word that he raised the issue. Granted, it doesn’t prove or disprove the existence of the gods, but it does provide a mechanism by which we invented the gods… imaginings which are, in the end, supercharged notion of authority. Consider the first (presumably the first) proto-religions: ancestor cults. Somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago a clan performed the first burial with grave goods. In my opinion, this is singularly the most astonishing event in human history. We may assume the central protagonist here was a chieftain; the clans leader whose death brought about incredible anxiety in the existing members. In a response to this anxiety they did something they’d never done before, something they could not even conceivably think of doing before this moment. They fashioned a hole, placed the fully clothed chieftain in it, and with the body they laid down his spear, axe, tool kit, and water bladder; personal items belonging to the great man and useful only to the living. Not enough can be said about this act, so seemingly benign to our modern minds but as unheard of to the naked ape as prokaryotes were to the lifeless proto-earth. This person had transcended death, and even if the thought had been fleeting the clan had imagined him in some existence outside the earthly realm; a place where he had some use for his tools. In some very small way this chieftain had become, quite by accident, the first immortal. He lived on, and from little things big things grow. The spirits could see, hear, feel, understand, and communicate with the living. They made moral judgments, were wishful, wilful, joyful, furious, stern, permissive, kind, cruel, even capricious, and keeping them happy through the observance of rituals was paramount.

        “Do you mind explaining more precisely what is irrational/immoral/defeatist and why exactly you think it is?”

        -Certainly. Be happy to. The best way is to perhaps compare religious belief to the practice of science. Religion (in its broadest definition) begins with the answer. Science (the organised process of discovery) begins with a question. If you have the answer why question anything? In fact, if you start with the answer then questions (all questions) are abhorrent affronts to that belief system. Humans are naturally curious. We have a giant information processing, storage and retrieval devise sitting above our eyes which makes that a given. This compulsion to launch ourselves into curiosities is there, inbuilt and ancient, but it’s the more modern mechanisms for self-correction – methods of experimentation, publication, and peer review fine-tuned in the 19th and 20th Centuries – from which science has derived its untold magnificence. No such magnificence exists in dogma. It is a rigid, windowless cube that capitalises on the lazy of mind and whose few refurnishing’s have only come about to ensure the survival of the cube itself, not the advancement of human knowledge. The genius of science, as method, is that it proceeds from a position of humility and does not – cannot – assume anything to be 100% known, rather best theorised: an unrestricted, open air, temporary platform which is free to be revised and repositioned as new evidence comes to light. The fundamental ineptness of dogma is that it doesn’t understand this concept. It proceeds from a position of certainty whereby adaption to new information – as it comes to light – is seen as an admission to its own falsehood. By its very nature dogma is therefore unmovable. Shifts in its station, even tiny movements are signs of weakness and are as such met with fierce opposition. I think this is irrational, immoral, and fundamentally defeatist because, under religion, curiosity (and the answers/solutions it produces) is purposefully stunted.

        Like

      • Hey John, the concept of architectural objectives might be better explained with analogy. Suppose you wanted to build a vehicle. You might start with the objective of maximum speed. To meet this objective you could build a suborbital rocket-powered ship like Virgin Galactic. Or, suppose you start with the objective of comfort. You could use recliner chairs with cup holders in the vehicle. Applied to our universe, we could ask what objectives are there for this universe supposing Christian theism? We don’t really know what they are. . .

        “Granted, there could be some other reason, but I feel if we’re going down that path then we have to jettison all concepts of a personal, watchful, mindful, caring god. A deistic god, or better still, a pantheistic notion, best fits this possibility.”
        I haven’t brushed much with pantheism, I’ll have to read about it for sure.

        “Granted, it doesn’t prove or disprove the existence of the gods, but it does provide a mechanism by which we invented the gods. . .”
        This is true. And, the proto-religions you describe are fascinating. Death has always been troublesome for us. Indeed, the oldest myth in Hebrew scripture provided an explanation for why death exists. One of the lessons we are learning from evolutionary and developmental psychology is that theism (in a broad sense) is a natural condition relying on evolved capacities and proclivities of the brain, seemingly as glitches. With this context we seem to be inventing theologies rather than god, although this distinction is a bit nuance. The question is, do any of these theologies represent reality? I guess that’s what interests you and me!

        “Religion (in its broadest definition) begins with an answer. Science (the organized process of discovery) begins with a question.”
        Thanks, that was well written. I find myself agreeing with your assessment. Indeed, Christianity has a history of promoting certain readings of scripture to absolute truth, to unmovable dogma. The worst example in our times is young earth creationism. I don’t think Christianity can be unlinked from certain confessions of faith, but I think we should discontinue dogmatism.

        Like

      • Ah OK, I understand. Well, if we take this particular universe as is then it’s designed more for the production of black holes than life bearing planets. In fact, black hole production seems to be its principle compulsion… and that just casts the fly out into tremendously deep, uncharted waters.

        “The question is, do any of these theologies represent reality? I guess that’s what interests you and me!”
        -Absolutely 🙂

        Like

  17. I got Fide’s opinion but unfortunately not on your post. Does it count? (He doesn’t praise you or deconvert on the spot, so it’s kind of disappointing.)

    “I agree that arguing for the existence, or even the goodness, of God based on a survey of the good things in the world would be completely wrong–and I don’t know of any theist who has ever done so.

    As to the parody of Plantinga’s Ontological argument, I’d say that I’ve never been attracted to ontological arguments. I find them suspicious. But I think there are much better objections than the one John uses.”

    Like

    • That’s terribly unsatisfactory, but rather predictable. Old Fide is the master of evasion. Switch and bait, switch and bait… and when that doesn’t work, dismiss it with a hand-wave. If he could answer he’d counter the arguments. So, evidently, he can’t answer. He’s been check-mated, and knows it. I think he also understands that this exposes the fragility of every single theistic argument ever presented.

      Notice how he doesn’t have the courage to step outside his own blog? That’s pretty pathetic, and a little sad.

      Like

      • Aw, don’t be nasty and personal. Maybe he doesn’t have time. As a Christian, if you want to expose your opinions on the JZ blog, you need to have time to dedicate to the barrage of atheists that will undoubtedly come down on you. I can understand the reluctance. And perhaps I made it sound like I personally was interested in his opinion, rather than that I was looking for some entertainment from my ringside seat. 🙂

        Like

      • Wicked… See, more proof for a malevolent creator 🙂

        Still, he is gutless. If he had any confidence (and pride) in himself and his beliefs he’d happily move around, rather than preaching to himself in his parents basement.

        Like

      • Ouch! Well, he’s definitely not going to come over now. I’d say you’ve been spending too much time with Ark, but he’s gone all floppy and easily offended on me so I’m trying to be respectful and silent.

        Like

      • Ha! I’ll believe that the day you see the Aurora.

        Now, there’s no “ouch” there… just stating the facts as they are. Have you ever, and i mean ever, seen him outside his blog? That’s a serious psychological/emotional problem right there. It’s evidently a reflection of how insecure he actually feels about his beliefs.

        Like

  18. Pingback: I’m Seeing Things | Out From Under the Umbrella

  19. John, your seven steps seem lacking since you do not mention a “creator” until #7, just an observation…

    You assign a thought in your first paragraph to an “impartial observer”. This must be an alien coming to our planet for the first time, right?, for no one here on Earth is impartial. You then place a “thought” into this “impartial observers” head that the fact we are killing our Earth, that our Earth is killing us, and we kill each other, must be a direct result of a “vicious and vile designer”. It’s a strange idea, and I would tend to agree a true “impartial observer” would think things are not well here, given what we do.

    Your second paragraph leads me to question if you possibly are suffering from Crying Baby Syndrome. CBS is a medical condition in which symptoms that would normally leave a reasonable person unfazed, distresses the affected patient to a remarkable degree. CBS is often typified by symptoms that don’t make sense together and/or change or intensify with each passing day. CBS is generally treated with a prescription-strength straw (to suck it up) and/or a double dose of M.T.F.U. (man the f^@# up ). Generally speaking, anyone who does not like the natural order of things in our world, and then blames God, is suffering from CBS.

    The rest of the post, or all of it, you clam to be satire. I would disagree with that.

    Satire, by its very structure, is intended to hold a mirror up to human peculiarity or minor weakness, and to *educate* the reader in matters of pretensions and contradictions in word and deed. Satire is often presented in metaphor and is rarely personal, but is usually universal in its targets and observations. Satire can be used to change a person when they are shown a point-of-view which they’d not previously considered.

    Sarcasm, on the other hand, is personal, and taken as such, rarely changes the readers mind. In fact, because the read feels attacked, sarcasm tends to strengthen the reader’s own view on the matter, no matter how socially or politically irrational the view might be.

    Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded. Fyodor Dostoevsky

    Like

    • What’s the point of this? Do you not think the problem of evil is important? Is it not worth lamenting? I lament over your response which comes off as completely invalidating and disrespectful.

      Like

      • The problem is not important. Everything he “listed” as evil is never going away. Crying about it is a waste of time. Doing something to lessen the effects of evil is all we can do.

        So we have a choice; laminate on and on about since there is evil god must be the cause, or, accept reality and be proactive in lessening it’s cause and affect.

        Like

      • You don’t decide what’s important to people, claiming that something is not important when others disagree with you is invalidating. I invite you to reconsider your position. Regarding pondering the problem of evil versus acting (i.e., humanism), can we not do these both? It’s not like one precludes the other.

        Like

      • I’m not deciding. Look at it this way; I just found out my mom has cancer. Is this a problem? No. Why? Because that is the natural way. Our bodies are not like superman’s’. Sometimes things go wrong, we get sick and sometimes die of it, or die from old age.

        There are a myriad of sick acts perpetrated by men on the innocent. The problem is not WHAT they do so much as WHY they do it. Look at it this way: if everyone was like me, or perhaps, if everyone was like you, there would be no rape, murder, child molesters, thieves, or greedy self-centered twits that would poison their water source for a hand-full of gold.

        The Bible talks all about this stuff, how to protect yourself and how to deal with suffering when it happens, because we are warned, it will happen!

        Like

    • Bobby, first question; does it matter in the formulation of the problem at what point he mentions creator? To answer John, you should of necessity show either that his premises are false or his conclusion does not follow from the premises.

      I see no place in John’s construction where he implies an impartial observer, but even if he does, that is a literary devices used to ask you to stand aside from your biases and attempt to look at the world as it is. To complain about this without addressing the argument is lazy.

      Your third paragraph is an insult and not worth addressing.

      Having said all that, do you have any critique on the argument or you still want to address side issues?

      Like

      • Hello Mak,

        Johns’ first paragraph, and I quote, “How much more reasonable must it be for the impartial observer to then attribute the world as we know it to a vicious and vile, non-contingent, omnipresent, omnipotent, omnimalevolent designer? Is this not, after all, the most likely explanation for the world before us?”

        That first paragraph sets the tone for the whole post and yet there is no such thing as an impartial observer. It’s fantasy.

        You should take natural disasters off the table because the Earths weather systems (jet streams, ocean currents, tides, earthquakes/tsunamis, etc.) are necessary planet functions. You can’t have a stable enough environment for the proliferation of life without a means for the planet to move, and ours moves a lot.

        So, that leaves the “evil” of sickness/disease and the “evil” we do to each other.

        We have had sickness/disease since the beginning. It is the way we are. Our bodies are flesh and blood, they are not invincible. People, or even children, getting sick and dying is hardly proof God is evil.

        God made “wicked beings” deflects the issue. Everyone has to take responsibility for their own actions. “God created me this way” won’t get anyone off the hook. Like I said, if everyone had my mind there would be no “evil” perpetrated on the innocent.

        God never promised anyone a life with no suffering. He never promised your children will grow to a ripe old age without ever suffering. Blaming Him for the evil we do is nuts. Until men take responsibility for the things they do nothing will ever change.

        Like

      • I see. I missed that first paragraph on impartial observer and I still insist it doesn’t make the post any less compelling. Have you read Mark Twain’s letters from the earth? Do they become less critical because they are presumed to be written by an angel or something of that kind?

        Why should natural disasters be off the table? Is it because you have no response for the challenge?

        In a universe without gods, there is no problem of evil. The world just is. The moment you posit that the world is governed by a celestial overlord with omni properties then you have some explaining to do and this is the challenge that was put forth by Epicurus and later improved on by Hume and Rowe in his famous argument. To dismiss this is to not deal with the problem. It doesn’t go away.

        Nobody denies that sickness exists. We agree to this. We say it is how things are. The theist is saying her god is powerful, all loving, all merciful and all knowing and we ask if such a god exists why then is what we observe inconsistent with such an existent. This is the question you must address. John in this case has addressed it by saying the creator is malevolent and is the maximally possible evil being that no other can be conceived. What critique to do you have to this. A hand wave is not going to do you any good.

        You assume god made anything. I don’t know what god is and whether it made anything. If god created everything, then the buck stops with s/h/it.

        The universe is indifferent. It rains both on those we call wicked and those we call good. This is how the world is.

        Like

      • Essay? Thought you said it was satire?

        I just explained why the whole “essay” is nonsense. Picking and choosing which words to place “omni” or “all” in front of to describe God now? It’s either all or none John. He is either all of everything or all of nothing.

        Now, do have any counter argument on anything I claimed to be truth?

        Like

      • “Picking and choosing which words to place “omni” or “all” in front of to describe God now…”

        Well I’ll be! Isn’t this precisely what apologists do? Mmmm, now i think we’re getting somewhere! Entertain me: please continue and tear this proof of an omnimalevolent god apart. It’s rather persuasive proof, observably accurate, so i think you’re going to have to work extra hard to be convincing. I’ll be waiting…

        Like

      • Already did.

        Since you have no counter to my statements perhaps you can at least back-up your claim and identify your “impartial observer”, you did put a “thought” into his head after all.

        Like

      • Come now, Bobbie. I expect to see an effective counter-argument. I’ve proven an omnimalevolent creator exists. You can see I’ve proven it, but if you do not accept this proof (as convincing as it is) then i will assume you have an intelligible, coherent, rational counter-argument. Correct?

        So, let’s hear it. Show me where my evidence for an omnimalevolent creator is wrong. Is the ontological argument wrong? Tell me how. Prove to me that tectonic plates and fragile biological life aren’t the work of a wicked designer. Prove to me the omnimalevolent creator doesn’t exist…

        Like

      • You must be an idiot of the first degree. You are here talking to yourself then you start patting yourself on the back saying I have no response to your arguments as if I was to do that in my sleep!

        Like

      • If you believe weather systems and the Earths movements, the non-invincible-always-dying human body, and men torturing innocents is proof God is evil then there is no hope for you.

        You demand proof, like a child throwing a tantrum when told they can’t have desert until they eat their broccoli. Well, I’ll say NO. NO WAY. There may never be sufficient “proof” for you. Nothing I can say, any logic, or even your dead uncle rising from the grave, nothing. The proof you search for is inside you and it is beyond my power to pull it out.

        Your sole purpose seems to cause the most pain to believers by ragging on Father. If you don’t know I’ll let you in a little secret; I’m grounded in my faith, I bend and suffer but I will never break.

        The Bible speaks about people as yourself: the walking dead – many words with no substance. I tell you all these things for your own good. I may speak stern at times but it is only because I care for you. Let those with ears hear.

        Like

      • Bobbie, Bobbie, Bobbie…. Again, please read the title of the essay. We’re talking here about a non-contingent, omnimalevolent creator: a maximally wicked being that clearly (and demonstrably) forged the heavens and the earth and all that lives. I have demonstrated this being exists using both observation and logic. The fact that you even point to the unpredictability of the earth’s movements and weather systems is exactly the proof I have laid out! Who else but a perfectly wicked creator would make the planet so the very ground was unstable? Who else but an evil designer would place the most fertile land next to rivers that will flood and kill innocent souls, or around volcanoes that will devastate entire regions? The answer is patently clear: a malevolent designer. Don’t you see? He deliberate herds humans and animals alike into guaranteed death-zones! It’s nasty, but it’s perfectly designed!!

        You can’t deny it.

        So, Bobbie, I’m asking you to try and present a counter-argument. If you object to this wicked Creator then you must be able to present an intelligent rebuttal. Correct? As it stands you’ve presented nothing, just an emotional plea that you don’t like the idea. I’m afraid that doesn’t change the facts.

        Use observation and logic to convince me this omnimalevolent creator doesn’t exist.

        Like

      • You have not demonstrated anything conclusively. I’ll address the points you make in your recent attempt.

        1. “Planet with unstable ground”

        The piece I live on is very stable. Now, if I lived on the San Andreas fault-line in Cali I’d seriously think about moving. Living on or near any fault-line is foolish because the Earths crust and mantel floats over a molten substance. Tectonic movement is the Earths way of recycling and bringing new minerals to the surface. God’s design? Sure. His intent to cause us evil? No.

        2. “place the most fertile land next to rivers that will flood and kill innocent souls”

        We have souls now? We are making progress!

        The reason the most fertile land is near to rivers is the very fact the area floods every year. The flooding leaves behind rich deposits of…wait for it…fertile dirt. Silly humans…maybe it isn’t a good idea to live in a flood zone.

        3. “volcanoes”

        Earths ventilation system to relieve pressure. Think about this. If it were not for volcanoes we would not have the Hawaii Islands, and many other such places.

        All of your recent attempts fail miserably. God is not evil and you can not prove it because it isn’t true.

        Our son and daughter-in-law visited last night. I asked my 7 year grandson if he thought God was evil. He said no Grandpa. I asked him, “Well, what about when a family gets in a bad car accident and they get hurt real bad or maybe a friend of your at school gets real sick and has to go to the hospital”. He said, “I don’t know Grandpa. God loves us. He would never do anything to hurt us”.

        Like

      • 1. You’re experiencing nothing but a temporary reprieve from tectonic chaos. Trust me, your little patch of earth has shifted and folded and burnt and been flooded thousands of times before, and it will do so again. I guarantee it.

        Yes, minerals that enrich the soil are a necessary, minimal natural good. I explained all that. You have not counter-argued what I said, therefore you are conceding the Omnimalevolent creator exists.

        2. Kill Zones are the work of a supremely intelligent, wicked designer. You have failed to address the evidence of the existence and sheer genius of these kill zones. Again, I’ll take that to mean you concede the point and accept the Omnimalevolent creator exists. His work is clear to see. You have not disproven it, rather confirmed it.

        3. Again, you are accepting the genius of the wicked designers work in herding humans and animals into kill zones. .. Guaranteed regions where overall suffering will be maximised.

        You have also failed to address other matters of disease, pestilence, violence, cruelty, torture, and the ghastly reality of millions of animals a day being torn apart and slaughtered in an ungodly bloodbath of pain and suffering whose purpose is only so one beast can steal another beasts protein just so it can survive for one more day… before it, too, is assuredly torn apart and slaughtered as another beast steals its (stolen) protein.

        Bobbie, you have done nothing but actually confirm the existence of a supremely intelligent, wicked designer. Admit it: through observation and logic the existence of this being cannot be denied.

        Like

      • Bobbie opines,

        “there is no such thing as an impartial observer. It’s fantasy.

        Not true. I couldn’t care less which team makes the NBA finals, or which ant colony destroys which over a territory dispute.

        “You should take natural disasters off the table because the Earths weather systems (jet streams, ocean currents, tides, earthquakes/tsunamis, etc.) are necessary planet functions.”

        Why should they be taken off the table? They’re prima facie evidence that nature operates just as the Omni-malevolent One intended. In fact, the Evil Bible unabashedly states:

        “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

        “You can’t have a stable enough environment for the proliferation of life without a means for the planet to move, and ours moves a lot.”

        How do you know for certain? Have you visited every single planet in the universe?

        “God made ‘wicked beings’ deflects the issue.”

        Hardly. It strikes at the very root of the matter, for it is written:

        “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.” Gen. 1:27

        “God never promised anyone a life with no suffering. He never promised your children will grow to a ripe old age without ever suffering.”

        Indeed. The scriptures assure us there’ll be plenty of suffering—not only in the here and now, but for all of eternity thereafter.

        The prosecution rests.

        Like

      • Ron, you critique me because I’m wrong no matter how silly the rebuttal has to be. I’ll play…

        BRJ – “there is no such thing as an impartial observer. It’s fantasy.”

        Ron – Not true. I couldn’t care less which team makes the NBA finals, or which ant colony destroys which over a territory dispute.

        BRJ – The discussion and reference is about God, not sports, or animals doing what animals do. By our very nature you will never find anyone impartial on the subject of “is God evil or not”. EVERYONE can relate. We all have suffered in one way or another and we all have the knowledge that some believe in God and some don’t.

        BRJ – “You should take natural disasters off the table because the Earths weather systems (jet streams, ocean currents, tides, earthquakes/tsunamis, etc.) are necessary planet functions.”

        Ron – Why should they be taken off the table? They’re prima facie evidence that nature operates just as the Omni-malevolent One intended. In fact, the Evil Bible unabashedly states:

        “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

        BRJ – Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. It is good the Earth is alive and can recycle our garbage, to a certain degree. It’s good we have an abundance of resources to make things. It’s good we have wind and rain and are spinning around so everyone can get some sunlight. Sunlight is critical for proper health, not to mention necessary to grow crops to eat. It is good we have an ocean full of fish to eat and a Sun to evaporate the water to make more rain. But then the bad starts, hurricanes and tornadoes. You can’t have the good without the bad, on a living planet. It is the only living Planet we know of and fantasizing about another living Planet somewhere else that doesn’t have life-threatening weather events is hardly proof God made ours just to kill some of us.

        BRJ – “God made ‘wicked beings’ deflects the issue.”

        Ron- Hardly. It strikes at the very root of the matter, for it is written:

        “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.” Gen. 1:27

        BRJ – The word “image” is translated from the Hebrew tselem, and it means “shape, resemblance, figure, shadow.” There is nothing abstract in it. Seventeen times the word tselem appears in the Old Testament, and even the liberal Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, which goes to great lengths to avoid saying it, admits that concrete form and physical resemblance must be considered for Genesis 1:26-27

        So, your correlation between our shape and the evil we perpetrate on others fails. It goes back to what I said earlier, God made us, but when someone commits an evil act against another it isn’t God holding a gun to their head making them do it. We all are responsible for our own actions and choices.

        BRJ – “God never promised anyone a life with no suffering. He never promised your children will grow to a ripe old age without ever suffering.”

        Ron – Indeed. The scriptures assure us there’ll be plenty of suffering—not only in the here and now, but for all of eternity thereafter.

        BRJ – No Bible verse this time Ron? You will have to back up this nonsense for an answer.

        John, please stay out of the kill zones. You have been warned, proceed at your own risk.

        Like

      • Bobbie,

        An impartial observer is one with no stake in the outcome. As such, who’s better poised to grant an impartial review of the Yahweh’s nature than those who entertain no god beliefs at all?

        Your claim that we must take the good with the bad strikes me as somewhat peculiar given that theists present heaven as the ultimate destination—one possessed of only the good attributes. If that were true, why wouldn’t an omnimax being establish those conditions right from the outset? In other words, why does the evidence point away from such a notion.

        I quoted Genesis 1:27 to highlight the fact that the buck stops with God. A faulty design points to a faulty designer, and according to the text, man was created to God’s own specifications. When buildings collapse, the builders get sued—not the building materials; when programs crash, the programmers are held accountable—not the hardware; when appliances malfunction right out of the box, the manufacturers receive complaints—not the appliances; and when people receive bad haircuts, the barber gets blamed—not the hair.

        And do I really need to cite more scriptures to validate my point? Start at Genesis 3 and continue forward. The entire OT serves as a self-incriminating testimony to God’s malevolent nature.

        Like

      • Good try Ron. You twisted everything I said and put words in my mouth and ideas in my head that are not mine.

        First, an “impartial observer” is not someone who has “no stake in the outcome”. “Impartial” means NOT favoring no one side or party more than another; without prejudice or bias; fair; just. You and your kind “favor” your side. Your side is you do not have sufficient proof to believe. I “favor” my side because I have my proof. You are biased against “there is proof”, I am not. Neither one of us is impartial on the subject. Having already made up you mind is not being impartial.

        So again, “By our very nature you will never find anyone impartial on the subject of “is God evil or not”. EVERYONE can relate. We all have suffered in one way or another and we all have the knowledge that some believe in God and some don’t.”

        You then take my “take the good with the bad” statement about the way our Planet functions and twist it by adding ideas I never spoke.

        But you are right that the buck stops with God. He is the ultimate responsible person in all this and moves to Judge, but your analogy comparing things God made with things we made is lacking. Comparing the animate with the inanimate is fantasy.

        I prayed about this; ‘is there anything I could tell them that might help them understand how much you love us’. He moved me, “Tell them about your daughter and learning how to drive”.

        Some of you are parents and can relate to this…

        My daughter was so exited about turning sixteen and learning how to drive. I knew the day would come and I was a bit apprehensive about it. I’ve seen first-hand the destruction car accidents can leave behind. I’ve seen dead bodies and those critically injured. I’ve had my hands covered in their blood. I’ve heard the cries of those whose loved ones have past on. I know 37,000 people will loose theirs lives on my roads this year and two million will become injured or disabled. Although my heart is troubled I know I have to let her go. I have to set her free to make her own choices.

        So here we go, life.

        I signed her up for Drivers Education. The first week they teach classroom then take them down to take a test and get a Learners Permit then it’s out on the road. She completed the course, took her test, and got her license. Good enough? No

        I then signed her up for a Defensive Driving Class. She got to drive on all types of road conditions; wet roads, simulation of torential rain, ice and snow, etc. She was taught how to recover from a skid and how to avoid debris, all types of obstacles, and other distracted drivers. Good enough? No.

        Next, she had to drive me around, everyday for eight days. I wanted to know everything she learned. I wanted to hear everything, every dicision she made I wanted to know what it was and why she made it. I wanted to hear she understood the seriousness of what she was doing. Good enough? No.

        She had to have the safest car made, a new Volvo. She picked the XC90.

        After all this I could finally say it was good. Not perfect, but good. Perfect would be placing my precious, sweet child, in a glass dome, safe from any harm. I would let her out when I was there to protect her and put her back in her dome so nothing bad would ever happen to her.

        “I have given you freedom. Live your life with joy and know that I am your God. I love you. Be strong, and let your heart take courage. Practice diligence and endure. Hold steadfast to my teaching and know I will never leave you; never will I forsake you. Come to me, all of you who are weary and are overburdened and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; ·the load I give you to carry is light.”

        Like

      • Bobbie,

        Congratulations! Your personal anecdote reveals you have more empathy and concern for your daughter that the god of the Old Testament has for all of humanity. There’s hope for you yet.

        But where did I twist everything you said or express words and ideas that weren’t yours? Could you provide evidence?

        I agree that impartial means to be without bias or prejudice. Which also means that those who have no stake in the outcome—i.e. no predisposition to favor one side or another—are most likely to be impartial. And as I alluded to earlier, those without god beliefs are the most likely to read the texts critically, whereas those whose entire belief system is predicated on the existence of an omnibenevolent being are not equipped to do so. Whether or not we’ve suffered is irrelevant to discussion of whether or not the OT God is presented as a capricious bastard.

        As for your “take the good with the bad” statement about how the planet functions, I didn’t twist anything—I asked: “…given that theists present heaven as the ultimate destination—one possessed of only the good attributes…why wouldn’t an omnimax being establish those conditions right from the outset?” Again, that’s a question, not a statement.

        Your closing remark (“Comparing the animate with the inanimate is fantasy”) is a non sequitur, so I’m unable to respond..

        Like

      • My personal anecdote parallels Gods’ plan, sort of, for we don’t know His mind exactly. We can look around us at how things are, look to what is written about life, do the best we can with what we are given, and wait.

        They fact that God saw what He had created and declared it good might be why I was to share the story. The fact that there is danger in the world is not sufficient reason to live in a glass dome. Our life has never, ever, been without danger. But is that fact alone reason that God purposely designed it this way, to cause us intentional pain? No. It seems to me Gods’ plan parallels His plan for us in the same way we plan for our own children. True freedom always comes with an element of danger of suffering. We know there are dangers but we raise them to be good. We try to teach them to love others and be morally good and fair. Then we let them go out and pursue their bliss.

        ^^^

        I’ll try to convey my point one last time about how you are not impartial. Johns’ whole post is an idea formed around an imaginary “impartial observer” coming to a fantastical conclusion. The truth statements he makes, based on this observer, fall flat because the impartial observer is fictional.

        Now, you say you have no stake in the outcome but is this really true. The discussion is about God, whether He exist or not, and whether He is evil or not. So, by its very nature both of us have a tremendous stake in who is right or wrong. If you are right then I’m a stupid idiot and I don’t want to be a stupid idiot. If I’m right, well, let’s just say I’m not your Judge.

        You refer to God as a “capricious bastard”. If this is your belief then how can you not be biased? You have already made your conclusion so here on out you are no longer impartial.

        ^^^

        Ron, you asked: “…given that theists present heaven as the ultimate destination—one possessed of only the good attributes…why wouldn’t an omnimax being establish those conditions right from the outset?”

        WHY? Why didn’t you make me the son of Bill Gates God? Why did you make me fat? Why am I going bald? Why can’t I quit smoking? Why did my wife leave me and my kids hate me? Why did you give me diabetes and sores on my legs that wont heal? Why am I going to die, I don’t want to die?

        Why? “Because you did not receive into your heart the love of the truth, so that you would be saved. For this cause I shall send you strong delusion, that you will believe lies.”

        ^^^

        It’s been a pleasure Ron but I think we’ve taken this as far as it goes. I assume you will reply but it ends here on this one for me. Let’s just say I still stand on my notion that John is not impartial and to infer an attribute to God from a flawed premise fails. It is my opinion what we have here is evil in itself; that being someone who does not believe in Gods existence trying to prove that because evil exists God is evil.

        Like

      • Bobbie, it’s not my belief—it’s the message leaping from the pages of the very book theists have embraced as their moral guide. Your god himself proclaims it:

        “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7

        Like

      • One verse pulled out of context does not prove your point.

        Isaiah 45:5-8

        I am the Lord, the only God. There is no other God except me.
        I made you strong but still you don’t know me.

        I am doing this so that everyone will know that I am the only God. From the east to the west, people will know that I am the Lord and that there is no other God.

        I made the light and the darkness. I bring peace, and I cause trouble. I, the Lord, do all these things.

        May the clouds in the skies above pour goodness on the earth like rain.
        May the earth open up to let salvation grow. And may goodness grow with that salvation, which I, the Lord, created.

        The very next verse speaks to your why, Why, WHY.

        Look at these people! They are arguing with the one who made them. Look at them argue with me. They are like pieces of clay from a broken pot. Clay does not say to the one molding it, ‘Man, what are you doing?’ Does the pot complain that its maker has no skill?

        Like

      • Out of context? Under which context is committing evil ever permissible?

        I don’t envy you your predicament, Bobbie. You’ve chosen to worship a monster: one whose sword is drenched in blood (Isaiah 34:6). And like every other Christian apologist, you subscribe to Divine Command Theory: that might makes right; that every action committed by YHWH must by definition be good, no matter how reprehensible it it may appear to us.

        As I stated earlier, those whose entire belief system is predicated upon the existence of an omnibenevolent being are ill-equipped to evaluate that being without bias.

        And what’s even sadder, Bobbie, is that this being you’ve chosen to worship doesn’t even exist.

        Like

      • Predicament? That is where your worldview proves our differences. Not that I have found Gods’ love and you haven’t, but that you think I’m in a predicament.

        I’m grounded and God sustains me. My predicament is not attempting to justify how things are, or what God does/did, or why He does/did it. It is not how do I communicate the Gospel so that you will accept it, because there is no such method.

        My predicament is to communicate the Gospel to people so that they are able to decide for, or against it. The Christian Gospel is a matter of decision, it is to be accepted or rejected. And believe me, I will not kill you for rejecting it. All that we who communicate the Gospel can do is to make possible a genuine decision. Such a decision is one based on understanding and participation. Like I tell everyone who demands “proof”, there is none.

        Now, it seems I no longer have any predicament with you for you have heard the message and have made your decision. I don’t envy you your predicament, Ron.

        Like

      • John,

        In the Gospel is the story of the Transfiguration during which a transfigured Jesus had a parley with Moses and Elijah.

        The meeting of Jesus, Moses and Elijah is a bold statement of the unity between the Old and New Testaments.

        My source is Pope Leo the Great (Birthdate unknown, Died 461AD) who was one of the most influential popes of antiquity.

        Since Jesus is God and God the Father communicated His teachings through Moses, it doesn’t make any difference whether Moses was Tom, Dick or Josephina.

        The teachings are what matter and they are totally consistent over 1000’s of years.

        Like

      • John,

        Judeo-Christian teachings are coherent.

        That means your attack on the existence of Moses is meaningless since the teachings he represents are what is important.

        Personally, I believe that Moses existed. The evidence is the state of Israel which would not exist without Moses’ teachings.

        Like

      • So, you’re admitting Moses didn’t exist. Good. What I’d like to hear is Bobbies explanation for Jesus not knowing the character was fiction.

        Bobbies explanation, SOM… Not yours.

        Like

      • John,

        I said that I believe Moses existed and I gave the evidence.

        Your argument against the existence of Moses is a lack of evidence.

        And that is lame based thousands of years of Judeo-Christian tradition and teachings.

        Like

      • John,

        Yes, I gave evidence.

        The state of Israel is kind of hard to miss.

        You are not only evidence but conclusive proof that atheists couldn’t care less about evidence.

        It’s all about the dogma and the propaganda.

        Like

      • Heard what message, Bobbie? Your daughter’s driving anecdote? Because other than that you’ve proffered no convincing arguments to counter the omnimalevolent creator hypothesis put forth by John.

        And do you seriously believe I’ve never been exposed to the gospels prior to your posting here? Has it ever occurred to you that just maybe I might have came to my conclusions after conducting a thorough investigation of the texts while still a full-blown believer?

        See Bobbie, this is the problem with many apologists (and Internet apologists in particular): you’re quick to make faulty assumptions and pronouncements, but you never think to ask any questions. Worse still, you routinely avoid answering the difficult questions directed towards you. This makes for a very frustrating exchange… for everyone.

        Like

      • I agree with your assessment SOM. There is no proof sufficient for John. So, a lack of hard-proof is twisted into an erroneous belief of non-existence.

        But consider also that there is no archeological proof for the existence of whole hosts of people and rulers who existed in antiquity, and whose existence is firmly taught in history and anthropology courses today. We know about these people mostly through testimony passed on through oral or written tradition and written down by later generations. These are called primary sources.

        The bible is one such primary source. The difference is that its writing is inspired by the Holy Spirit, which other ancient writings are not. But if you want to judge it as historical source material apply the same standards of provenance as you would to any other ancient document.

        Like

      • Bobbie,

        Also, is the hard drive (the memory) called tradition by the ancients in all cultures, through which the living Word of God is taught from one generation to the next, generation after generation.

        The scriptures are an indispensable part of that tradition especially in modern times when so many people are literate and books are so common and cheap.

        Atheists, forever caught in an imaginary present cut off from both the past and the future (postmodernism), think that everything arrives to them all by itself.

        And that if they think it, it must be true.

        So it is easy for the atheist to declare that Moses and Jesus do not exist because in their imaginary, disconnected present moment there is nothing real that connects them to the real past.

        Like

      • Hi Bobbie. Apologies, I’m only now seeing your reply.

        I understand Christians actually still believe Moses was a real person, but I’m afraid to say that Christians are trailing terribly behind the Jews in approaching this subject. The majority of Jewish Rabbis today openly concede Moses was a fictional invention. The Encyclopaedia Judaica concludes that the entire Exodus narrative was “dramatically woven out of various strands of tradition… he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.” The evidence is so overwhelming that even Orthodox Rabbis are beginning to admit it, as most recently expressed by Orthodox Rabbi Norman Solomon’s 2012 book, Torah from Heaven: The Reconstruction of Faith, in which he asserts the Five Books of Moses are not rooted in reality but are rather a “foundation myth;” an origin dream, not a descriptive historical fact.

        I don’t really want to get into a history debate here in this thread (I have other posts which better field that forum) but my question is, how do you explain Jesus not knowing Moses wasn’t a historical character. I’ve had other Christians say he did know (being who he said he was, we would expect that), but that he used “Moses” because that’s what the Jews believed at the time. Would you perhaps agree with this analysis?

        Like

      • John,

        The characters in Homer’s Iliad were also fictitious but the their story was full of wisdom.

        And you know what?

        Homer never once advocated gay marriage, quite the opposite in fact.

        Like

      • John,

        No am not admitting that Moses was fictitious because I don’t think he was.

        I’m saying that even if he were fictitious it would make a bit of difference.

        People die, but their teachings and traditions live on and on if they are worthy.

        Like

      • Right, so we have SOM who says he believes in one corner, and in the other corner stands the overwhelming majority of Jewish Rabbis, the overwhelming majority of biblical archaeologists and scholars, the overwhelming majority of Israeli archaeologists, and even the Encyclopaedia Judaica who all say, categorically, Moses was a fictional character. But of course SOM must be correct…

        Like

      • John,

        “The overwhelming majority of Jewish Rabbis” sounds like the 98% of scientists who believe in global warming therefore it must be true?

        John, right and wrong, truth or falsehood are not a matter of democracy.

        And if the Bible teaches use one thing it’s how cockeyed the Jews, especially their Rabbis can get even in the face of monumental miracles.

        Like

      • Well, I guess that settles it.

        John, if your interested in a timeline of the Bible refer to

        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/725672/posts

        “The Bible does not call itself a history book but it records the dealing of the real God with real people as they lived real lives in real times. It is important then that the biblical records of the Patriarchs and the early Israelites be lifted out of the category of fable and recognized as true stories. Where the Bible touches history, as it does in many places, then more and more the Word of God is coming out as remarkably accurate. To quote David Rohl, who is an agnostic, at the end of his book:-

        “Without initially starting out to discover the historical Bible, I have come to the conclusion that much of the Old Testament contains real history.”

        The events recorded in the Bible are not small events but include the building and destruction of cities and the movement of nations, as well as wars and battles affecting thousands of people’s lives. It details the rise and fall of empires as well as the parts played by individuals in that history. Although we may never come up with archaeological evidence for minor bit players’ in the story, major events should not be hard to find.”

        Like

      • Associates for Biblical Research disagrees.

        CONCLUSION

        It is abundantly clear that, from a Palestinian perspective, Rohl’s hypothesis is quite unworkable. Rather than enhancing the connections between archaeology and the Bible, his new chronology would destroy the many strong correlations that exist when the standard chronology is followed.

        http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2007/05/david-rohls-revised-egyptian-chronology-a-view-from-palestine.aspx#Article

        I’ll let you “Holy Spirit led” apologists work it out amongst yourselves.

        Like

  20. Your comment threads are impressive John! Reminds me of the Gospel of Christ that started of with a few loose remarks by an early hippy.

    Benevolent, Malevolent; whilst humans insist on looking through the glasses of dualism, the will never see that there is no white-bearded or horned dude out there. There is just a reality.

    Love isn’t good and murder isn’t bad; just people acting out and getting attached to their play. What does the Alnitak star in Orion’s belt care? Not even a microscopic crap.

    Like

    • “Reminds me of the Gospel of Christ that started of with a few loose remarks by an early hippy.”

      Hahahha! Perfect. Warning: I’m stealing that for future use 🙂

      Can we (the average Harry and Mary on the street) honestly stop seeing the world through dualistic eyes? I hold out hope that we can, but i fear it might just as easily always morph into some other beast with lighter colourings.

      Like

      • You, yes you could. You already do. The rest? They may still end up with Spaghetti Monsters, Apple Design or other present day deities.
        That’s cute.
        But the fundamentalist mono-deist followers are less cute. Thank God for your blog!

        Like

  21. Picking and choosing which words to place “omni” or “all” in front of to describe God now? It’s either all or none John. He is either all of everything or all of nothing.

    Exactly! That’s the entire point.

    Like

  22. THE QUESTION OF SUFFERING

    Human compassion cannot finish suffering absolutely without destroying life itself.

    Like one cannot destroy North Pole without destroying the South Pole.

    There are two wheels of Evolution; suffering and happiness.

    If one wants only Happiness; that is the plan of the Heaven.

    Then one should do good deeds and seek help and mercy of God one would enter the paradise; there is all Happiness there; else one would end in all-suffering the South Pole of Happiness.

    Quran 67:2-3 mentions it clearly:

    Blessed is He in whose hand is the kingdom, and He has power over all things;

    It is He Who has created death and life that He might try you—which of you is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the Most Forgiving.

    One who wants to understand the “The Question of Suffering”; should read the following Essay on the above question:

    http://www.alislam.org/library/books/revelation/part_2_section_6.html

    Like

    • Hi paarsurrey (Thoroughly enjoying your thread over on Is There A God)

      Do you have anything to actually say regarding the post, or did you just want to talk about things (the Qu’ran) which have nothing to do with it? If so, then I’m not interested in what you’re selling.

      If, however, you have a coherent counter-argument to the post then please, by all means, present it.

      Like

      • @JOHN ZANDE says:March 13, 2014 at 11:41 pm
        Thanks for appreciating my posts on the topic “Is there a God” on uncleE’s blog.

        Please read the essay suggested by me. It is very pertinent to the topic of suffering and its correct understanding.

        Then we will discuss it in detail. Please

        Like

    • I would tend to agree with your assessment Paarsurrey. But I will not, however, give any legitimacy to your Quran. Many Countries are now regretting letting Muslims immigrate to their lands because they will not assimilate, nor do they have any tolerance for others belief systems.

      In Saudi Arabia the practice of proselytizing by other religions is illegal and to convert to another religion carries the death penalty and this is not at all unusual for Muslim countries.

      ISLAM IN A NUTSHELL

      Adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book:

      Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat

      liveleak.com/view?i=bdd_1349303243

      Dozens of articles about Countries in peril from Muslim immigration: France, Germany, Morocco, Belgium, Denmark, United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Trinidad & Tobago

      limitstogrowth.org/WEB-text/france-immigration.html

      A list of 164 jihad verses found in the Quran.

      http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Themes/jihad_passages.html

      A finally, understand this before attempting to take over the USA…

      “Based on consolidated information from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, there are about 300 millions guns in the United States.”

      “The number of privately owned guns in the U.S. is at an all-time high, upwards of 300 million, and now rises by about 10 million per year,” said the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action in a firearms safety fact sheet released Jan. 17, 2013.

      As of 2009, a Congressional Research Service report states, “the estimated total number of firearms available to civilians in the United States had increased to approximately 310 million: 114 million handguns, 110 million rifles, and 86 million shotguns.”

      There is no way to know for sure how many but be warned, the population is armed, and they will not go down without a fight.

      Like

      • @ Bobby

        RFLMFAO….It’s Davey Crockett reborn.

        “Hot dang, Elma, its the godammed Mooslims. They’s comin’ up Pensylvania Avernoo , on godammed Camels

        Like

  23. Pingback: THE QUESTION OF SUFFERING | paarsurrey

  24. Whew. John, you have some patience for incoherent comments. One of your readers seems to have been cross-bred (no pun intended) with a gnat and then overdosed on caffeine pills.

    Like

  25. @BOBBIERILEYJR says:March 14, 2014 at 12:53 am

    “I would tend to agree with your assessment Paarsurrey. But I will not, however, give any legitimacy to your Quran.”

    Please read the essay suggested by me for correct understanding of the question of suffering.

    The understanding is valid for a Christian also.

    Quran could be discussed separately.

    “A list of 164 jihad verses found in the Quran.”

    It will be off-topic to discuss the above list here.

    I think when you visited my blog ; I selected one verse namely “Quran 5:36-38” from a list ; then perhaps you forgot to respond on the topic. If you feel interested we can discuss all 164 verses mentioned by you now, one by one.

    I give below the reference of my response to your comments.

    http://paarsurrey.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/it-is-up-to-the-atheists-they-all-may-join-in-to-prove-violence-in-quran-verse-by-verse-from-the-context/#comment-4261

    Please feel free to discuss.

    Thanks

    Like

    • First, do you acknowledge the 114 suras of the Quran are not listed in the chronological order in which Mohammad recited them?

      Like

      • @BOBBIERILEYJR says:March 15, 2014 at 3:13 am
        “First, do you acknowledge the 114 suras of the Quran are not listed in the chronological order in which Mohammad recited them?”

        Yes; the verses were revealed for guidance of the prophet and his followers according to the situation on hand but the prophet was told to put the verses on the place where it was to be read/kept in the permanent arrangement; and those who committed it to memory and as also to the scribes; and everybody did accordingly.

        This shows that Quran is a practical guidance for the situation in hand for the believers of that time as also with the context verses in the permanent arrangement for all the situations in all times to come in future.

        It might be important to you; but not at all important to us the believers.

        Quran as it is today; was recited by Muhammad; and there never existed two different Quran with two different texts; neither in the time of Muhammad nor thereafter.

        It is for this that all verses of Quran become crystal clear from the verses in the context and there is no ambiguity left.

        Like

  26. @SILENCEOFMIND says:March 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I think you have the capability to discuss it. Please give the counter-arguments in a manner that the topic is understood; no need to debate for winning; that should be the style of persons who belong to a religion.

    Thanks and regards

    Like

  27. @BOBBIERILEYJR says:March 15, 2014 at 3:13 am
    ” do you acknowledge the 114 suras of the Quran are not listed in the chronological order in which Mohammad recited them?”

    This is another topic, which would be quite off-topic here. If you are interested to have more information on this topic, please read a chapter in the following book “The compilation of The Quran”: available free online.

    “Introduction to the study of Holy Quran”: Chapter- pages 354-368; just 14 pages.
    http://www.alislam.org/library/books/Introduction-Study-Holy-Quran.pdf

    Thanks for your interest in Quran.

    Like

    • But don’t you think we should establish certain aspects of the Quran and the prophet before looking for truth from certain versus that he dictated?

      If you want to try to counter the fact that your prophet evolved over his ministry life into eventually teaching jihad and war then we have to establish first that the 114 suras are not in chronological order.

      On a side note, I did comment to your web site link and got no reply. Your blog theme is unlike this one where comments are nestled.

      Like

      • If I may: I’d like this conversation to happen here. I’m interested to hear where this is going as Islam does have a rather pronounced “anger management issue.” Any light that can be shed on that is good for all.

        Like

      • OK with me John.

        I do see your recent reply Paarsurrey, at your blog. It works well enough so don’t worry.

        You agree the suras are not in chronological order. This is very important for understanding it’s content. Sura 1 was not written before Sura 2, and 1 and 2 were not written before 3, etc…When holding to context we must have the best chronological order, so from now on I will use the order laid out at Wiki’s page.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suras_in_the_Quran

        Let me know if you disagree with any thing I know to be true about the Quran and the Prophet, and the meaning of versus he dictated as truth from God. We will move this along slowly so we agree, then move along. In this way we will try to come to agreement what it is that God is teaching us through His word.

        Although I am not impartial about the Qurans’ teaching as the inspired words of God I am sincere and offer no disrespect. The world has ample evidence some in the Islamist faith use the Quran falsely to justify Jihad actions. Perhaps we will learn why and make sense of it all.

        ***
        Mohammad began preaching Islam in 610 A.D. when he was still living in Mecca. Of the 114 chapters in the Quran, 86-90 are classified as Meccan.

        I’ll refer to the Mecca Chapters as Stage One: NO RETALIATION

        While still in Mecca, Mohammad and his followers did not retaliate or fight. The suras originating during that time contained teaching typified by the following verses: (paraphrased)

        Sura 73:10,11 (be patient and bear with those who deny the truth)
        Sura 52:45,47,48 (leave them alone and wait in patience for the Lord to punish them)
        Sura 109:1,2,6 (Tell unbelievers, “You have your religion and I have mine.”)
        Sura 76:8,9 (be kind even to those taken prisoner)
        Sura 20:129,130 (also 38:15-17) (be patient with evil things said by evil people)
        Sura 20:134,135 (be patient and let the unbelievers see who is right)
        Sura 29:46 (don’t argue with Jews and Christians, but do something better, i.e., emphasize our oneness)
        Sura 16:125,126 (invite to the way of God only with gracious preaching and arguments)
        Sura 23:54 (Leave them in their ignorance)
        Sura 23:96 (It is best not to retaliate evil for evil)
        Sura 43:88,89 (just turn away from those who reject the truth, and say “Peace” to them)
        Sura 6:104 (It’s not our job to watch and be sure people believe the truth)

        There are many, many more specific references to grace, peace, love, tolerance and forgiveness.

        Of the 90 suras originating during the 13 years he lived in Mecca none contained instructions about fighting, in spite of the severe persecution, beatings, expulsion from their homes and death threats to which his small band of followers were subjected to by his fellow Quraish tribesmen idol worshipers.

        ***

        Next I will speak of the last 24 suras written from the time after 622 when Mohammad and his followers migrated to Medina to escape from the persecution in Mecca.

        Like

      • bobby, I have a small question here not that I am really interested in the battle mights you are having with paarsurrey.
        Why is the order of the books important? The letters or some of them are said to have been written before the gospels and they appear later than the gospels and some books of the OT I hear also do not follow a chronological order.

        Like

      • Yes Sir Mak,

        I responded to Parrsurrey that I agreed with his assessment why there is evil, that it isn’t because God is evil, but at this time I can’t give any legitimacy to the Quran.

        I take this opinion and gave three reasons.

        1. ISLAM IN A NUTSHELL

        Adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book:

        Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat

        liveleak.com/view?i=bdd_1349303243

        2. Dozens of articles about Countries in peril from Muslim immigration: France, Germany, Morocco, Belgium, Denmark, United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Trinidad & Tobago

        limitstogrowth.org/WEB-text/france-immigration.html

        3. A list of 164 jihad verses found in the Quran.

        Parrsurrey wanted to talk about #3.

        Which is fine. Talking about the verses requires knowledge that the Prophet gave specific messages from an Angel for the first thirteen years of his ministry while living in Mecca that ALL had a basic theme, that being love, peace, charity, and no retaliation, just to name a few.

        After moving to Medina things changed. We have war and caravan raids and instructions on how to split the spoils. We are given specific instructions on how to deal with unbelievers, or more correctly stated, enemies of the Prophet and God. These later suras are in complete contrast to the teaching of Christ and his Apostles.

        So by knowing when each sura was written we come to a better understanding how the Prophet evolved, how the messages he gives evolved from love to war.

        Now, the definition of a Prophet is one who prophesies future events. In the Torah there were many Prophets who are said to be in direct communication to God Himself, no Angels, and many prophesies where fulfilled.

        I am not at all saying Mohammed was not a Prophet of God, for he may have very well been. Prophets were humans who communicated the messages of God to his chosen people. They were chosen by God, no one could appoint himself. So in my mind I question the Quaran since it clearly states the message is from an Angel. I look to the fruits it has produced after 2,000 years, have we finally moved past the human invention of killing non-believers in the name of God, for the New Testament God tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Christ, nor His Apostles, ever taught to kill, or make war, on any unbeliever.

        ***
        As to your second point…

        “The Old Testament is considered to be the background of events found in the New Testament and as the foundation of the overall Christian teachings. The Old Testament, as the name suggests, is a precursor of the New Testament.

        The Bible is seen as a progressive text that has evolved over time therefore, the New Testament is considered to be based on the events, systems, covenants and promises of the Old Testament.

        The Old Testament tells us why the Jews were looking for a Messiah while the New Testament takes us to the Gospels. It is the Old Testament that helps in the identification of the Messiah as Jesus of Nazareth because of intricate prophecies about him including those relating to his birth, manner of death, resurrection etc.

        The Old Testament also details the sacrificial system the Israelites received to hide their sins for a temporary period while the New Testament clarifies that the system actually referred to the sacrifice of Christ only through whom salvation is possible for all men, Jew and Gentile.

        Man was separated from God through sin, states the Old Testament while the New Testament declares that man can renew and regain his relationship with God. It is the Old Testament that helps us understand God’s promises and the New Testament shows us how they have and will come to pass.”

        Source: http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-the-old-testament-and-new-testament/

        Like

      • bobby, you have answered everything except the question I asked you and made claims that well, you and me know e are not going to agree on.

        I don’t see any evidence for gods. I believe in nothing supernatural, whatever they may be, and as such your claim that you think Mo was a prophet of god is moot point in this discussion.

        And the first two points you mention earlier I had seen in this thread.

        My question was and is, you are piling pressure on paarsurrey to admit the Koran is not in the order dictated by Mo, assuming he did dictate anything, but ignoring that much of the NT is not in any chronological order, an observation that has also been made about OT. This is what I want you to deal.

        For the umpteenth time, am not interested in the battle of mights the two of you are having about how many times in the Koran it allows killing of unbelievers or how many times the bible talks about stoning own children.

        My definition of prophet is not of one who foretells future events but uses a manner akin to poetry. He is like a poet or singer. Anyone who claims to know of the future is a fraudster. That’s how they appear in my dictionary.

        I hope you will now be able to answer my question. Oh, just in case I didn’t say, I know the OT predates the NT, there was no point in quoting a whole passage just to say that.

        Like

      • oh, and please just call me Mak. I haven’t been knighted by the Queen, though my friends have declared my his holliness, the infallible pope 😛 and we are yet to agree of what.

        Like

      • “My question was and is, you are piling pressure on paarsurrey to admit the Koran is not in the order dictated by Mo, assuming he did dictate anything, but ignoring that much of the NT is not in any chronological order, an observation that has also been made about OT. This is what I want you to deal.”

        For the second time, chronology is important to show a move from love to war.

        Mecca-love, Medina-war-caravan raids-killing. The topic chosen by Paarsurrey was one to attempt to refute my statement the Quran has versus dictating Jihad.

        Now, if this same claim can be said of the Bible, that the NT teaches killing of unbelievers, or raiding caravans, or splitting the spoils, or Jihad, and if we can see this teaching more clearly because the books are out of chronological order, then by all means, place them in the right order and prove the NT teaches and condones killing unbelievers.

        Like

      • I see Parrsurrey has gone silent so what’s the point continuing.

        I did just find something I never knew; Islamic voodoo spells based on Muslim voodoo rituals.

        islamicastrologer.com/tag/voodoo-in-islam/
        dharmaawakening.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/islamic-voodoos/

        Also the Muslims back in the day had MANY very strange medical treatments like bloodletting as a cure, a housefly’s wing and honey being medicine.

        This might give you some new material John

        dharmaawakening.wordpress.com/muhammad-islam-and-sex/

        and this site has a funny jpeg of an Arab holding a plastic water bottle up to collect a camels urine.

        Sahih Bukhari Volume 007, Book 071, Hadith Number 590.

        vice.com/read/drinking-camel-urine-in-yemen-fob-000300-v20n8

        Like

  28. @JOHN ZANDE says: March 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    If you allow me off-topic discussion here on your blog; I have no objection to reply the questions here.
    As told by me several times I don’t claim to be a scholar. Just to help the friends I discuss and answer the questions.

    Do you allow to discuss off-topic here?

    Like

  29. Pingback: The arrangement of the chapters and verses of Quran | paarsurrey

  30. Wow. Come late to the party …

    All conjecture of course, no matter how well put and/or convincing. There’s only one God and It is good, ‘cos the Bible tells us so. End of story, no argument, no negotiations and please empty your wallet into the priest on the way out.

    There, settled that … NEXT~!

    Like

  31. Oops … that didn’t go where wanted. Blaste acts of God mutter mutter mutter …

    So here ’tis again, go worship:

    Hah! Found it …

    “All things dull and ugly,
    All creatures short and squat,
    All things rude and nasty,
    The Lord God made the lot.
    Each little snake that poisons,
    Each little wasp that stings,
    He made their brutish venom.
    He made their horrid wings.

    All things sick and cancerous,
    All evil great and small,
    All things foul and dangerous,
    The Lord God made them all.

    Each nasty little hornet,
    Each beastly little squid–
    Who made the spikey urchin?
    Who made the sharks? He did!

    All things scabbed and ulcerous,
    All pox both great and small,
    Putrid, foul and gangrenous,
    The Lord God made them all.

    Amen.

    Like

  32. @BOBBIERILEYJR: March 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm
    Your words:
    “114 chapters in the Quran, 86-90 are classified as Meccan” Unquote

    Paarsurrey replies:

    Quran does not classify the verses or the chapters to be Meccans or Medinian .

    This has perhaps been done later on the basis of Hadith, which never existed in the time of Muhammad and was collected 250/300 years after Muhammad, or by guesswork; and therefore has no relevance with our present discussion.

    A particular verse and the verses in the context quite clarify the situation at hand; hence no need of any such classification.

    Quran is the first and the foremost source of guidance of Islam/Muhammad for the Muslims whatever the denomination.

    I don’t debate with anybody to win; I only discuss.

    Our present discussion will remain focused on the topic “There is no violent verse in Quran if a verse is seen with the verses in the context”.

    That is where our discussion began. I will ignore all other things that our friend bobbierileyjr mentions, please.

    The discussion is open for everybody of any religion or no-religion, no bar from me.

    No list is to be discussed; one verse at a time with the verses in the context. We can discuss verse by verse, as many verses as our friends may want to.

    Like

    • Thought you gave up.

      I play by your rules then, you state, “Our present discussion will remain focused on the topic “There is no violent verse in Quran if a verse is seen with the verses in the context”.

      Lets discuss Sura 9 then. I’ll break down the chapter on what I understand it to mean. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      Sura 9 is written after Mohammed conquers Mecca.

      The context of Sura 9:

      The Muslims continued to gain strength until the Meccans surrendered (in 630 AD). Most of the pagans of the city then became Muslims, so Mohammad and his followers were able to take over the city and cleanse the Ka’aba of some 360 idols resident there. At this point a new order was given to fit the new situation.

      By this time it was evident that the Jews would not accept Muhammad’s claim to be a prophet, so the list of enemies now included all unbelievers – Jews and Christians as well as the pagans. Now it is no longer just defensive fighting (I’m skipping that know and moving straight to Jihad) but aggressive Jihad against all unbelievers is commanded. Since this is the final teaching of the Quran regarding Jihad, it is what is still in force today.

      Sura 9:1-6 (Dissolve all treaties with those pagans who haven’t kept them, giving them four months notice. But keep your treaties with other idol worshipers till the end of the time agreed upon. In the future, make no more treaties with pagans, but kill those who do not receive Islam.)

      Sura 9:11,12,14,15 (Pagans who accept Islam become brother Muslims. Fight those who break their agreements. God will punish them by your hands.)

      Sura 9:16 (God knows those who strive with all they have, and don’t make friends with or seek protection from non-Muslims)

      Sura 9:19-22 (Jihad is greater than other service, and of the highest rank in the sight of God)

      Sura 9:29-31 (fight against Jews and Christians until they are subdued, because God’s curse is on them)

      Sura 9:38,39,41 (Don’t avoid fighting, but fight with whatever you have. Otherwise God will punish you with serious punishment.)

      Sura 9:52,73 (Muslims can expect either martyrdom/paradise or victory in battle. Unbelievers can expect only punishment from God. Fight hard against unbelievers, whose abode is hell.)

      Sura 9:81-96 (Those who are able but don’t want to fight are rejected of God. Those unable are forgiven.)

      Sura 9:111 (God gives Paradise to those who give all they have to God and slay and/or are slain in Jihad.)

      Sura 9:123 (fight the unbelievers surrounding you)

      Although I feel I have a clear understanding Sura 9 to be a command from Allah and his Prophet to fight and kill maybe I am wrong. What say you?

      Like

  33. @BOBBIERILEYJR: March 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    bobbierileyjr selected verse Sura 5:36-38 for discussion:

    @bobbierileyjr: March 4, 2014 at 12:39 am |

    I quote from your post:
    “Sura 5:36-38 prescribes four types of punishments for those who oppose Allah and his prophet, Muhammad” unquote.

    You have mentioned Quran verses “Sura 5:36-38” in your post; I give here the verses and the verses in the context:

    [5:28] And relate to them truly the story of the two sons of Adam, when they each offered an offering, and it was accepted from one of them and was not accepted from the other. The latter said, ‘I will surely kill thee.’ The former replied, ‘Allah accepts only from the righteous.
    [5:29] ‘If thou stretch out thy hand against me to kill me, I am not going to stretch out my hand against thee to kill thee. I do fear Allah, the Lord of the universe.
    [5:30] ‘I wish that thou shouldst bear my sin as well as thy sin, and thus be among the inmates of the Fire, and that is the reward of those who do wrong.’
    [5:31] But his mind induced him to kill his brother, so he killed him and became one of the losers.
    [5:32] Then Allah sent a raven which scratched in the ground, that He might show him how to hide the corpse of his brother. He said, ‘Woe is me! Am I not able to be even like this raven so that I may hide the corpse of my brother?’ And then he became regretful.
    [5:33] On account of this, We prescribed for the children of Israel that whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land — it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind. And Our Messengers came to them with clear Signs, yet even after that, many of them commit excesses in the land.
    [5:34] The reward of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive to create disorder in the land is only this that they be slain or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on alternate sides, or they be expelled from the land. That shall be a disgrace for them in this world, and in the Hereafter they shall have a great punishment;
    [5:35] Except those who repent before you have them in your power. So know that Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.
    [5:36] O ye who believe! fear Allah and seek the way of approach unto Him and strive in His way that you may prosper.
    [5:37] Surely, if those who disbelieve had all that is in the earth and as much over again, to ransom themselves therewith from the punishment of the Day of Resurrection, it would not be accepted from them; and they shall have a painful punishment.
    [5:39] And as for the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands in retribution of their offence as an exemplary punishment from Allah. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.
    Read:
    [5:40] But whoso repents after his transgression and amends, then will Allah surely turn to him in mercy; verily, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.

    http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/showChapter.php?ch=5&verse=33

    Now please prove your viewpoint from the verses you referred and the verses in the context. Please

    http://paarsurrey.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/it-is-up-to-the-atheists-they-all-may-join-in-to-prove-violence-in-quran-verse-by-verse-from-the-context/#comment-4261

    Like

    • Which translation are you using. It doesn’t match mine entirely.

      I’m at quran.com using the Sahih International translation.

      And why would you leave out Sura 5:38

      “[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah . And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.”

      Explain this…Sura 5:33-34

      “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment, Except for those who return [repenting] before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

      Like

  34. Pingback: “There is no violent verse in Quran if a verse is seen with the verses in the context” | paarsurrey

  35. @BOBBIERILEYJR says: March 16, 2014 at 10:06 pm
    Please take it as a friendly discussion.

    BOBBIERILEYJR: Which translation are you using? It doesn’t match mine entirely.

    Paarsurrey: I gave the link at the end of my post.
    The numbering of the verses started later; some treat the first verse in the beginning of every chapter “[1:1] In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.” as the integral part of the chapter and take it as number one of the chapter; other give the verse but don’t number it. So, practically no verse is missing.

    BOBBIERILEYJR: And why would you leave out Sura 5:38

    Paarsurrey: Only a copy/paste mistake; thank for pointing it; I did not notice it. I give it below:

    [5:38] They will wish to come out of the Fire, but they will not be able to come out of it, and they shall have a lasting punishment.

    There is no edit button for correction.
    I have made the necessary correction on my blog where I quoted the verses; you may check it there, please.

    BOBBIERILEYJR: Explain this…Sura 5:33-34
    “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment, Except for those who return [repenting] before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
    5:33

    إِنَّمَا جَزَاءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَسَادًا أَنْ يُقَتَّلُوا أَوْ يُصَلَّبُوا أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُمْ مِنْ خِلَافٍ أَوْ يُنْفَوْا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْيٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
    TRANSLITERATION:
    ʾinnamā jazāʾu lladhīna yuḥāribūna llāha wa-rasūlahū wa-yasʿawna fī l-ʾarḍi fasādan ʾan yuqattalū ʾaw yuṣallabū ʾaw tuqaṭṭaʿa ʾaydīhim wa-ʾarjuluhum min khilāfin ʾaw yunfaw mina l-ʾarḍi dhālika lahum khizyun fī d-dunyā wa-lahum fī l-ʾākhirati ʿadhābun ʿaẓīmun
    5:34

    إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَقْدِرُوا عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
    ʾillā lladhīna tābū min qabli ʾan taqdirū ʿalayhim fa-ʿlamū ʾanna llāha ghafūrun raḥīmun

    “[5:34] The reward of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive to create disorder in the land is only this that they be slain or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on alternate sides, or they be expelled from the land. That shall be a disgrace for them in this world, and in the Hereafter they shall have a great punishment;
    [5:35] Except those who repent before you have them in your power. So know that Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.”

    Paarsurrey: I have provided the two verses; their original text in Arabic and also in Roman Alphabetic.

    If one goes to the link I provided one could go to the previous page and the next page and see as much context as one wants to.

    The translation of the verses is in English and is very clear.

    Now please go ahead with proving your viewpoint with the verses in the context as agreed.

    Thanks and regards

    Like

    • This is getting a tad tiresome.

      1. What web site are you copying and pasting Quran from and if there are different translations like at quran.com, which are you using.

      Three of many verses commanding violence.

      2. Sura 5-38 [As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah . And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

      3. Sura 9-5 And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

      4. Sura 9-12 And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease.

      Like

      • BOBBIERILEYJR says:March 17, 2014 at 10:48 pm
        “This is getting a tad tiresome.”

        You selected Sura 5:36-38; first this place with the context verses as agreed will be discussed. if you are finished with it meaning agreeing with me that there is no violent verse in Sura 5:36-38 or the context verses; then we will go to some other sura like you have mentioned Sura 9-5.

        Like

      • The cutting off of hands is also commanded in Hadith Book 38, Number 4359:

        “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite side or exile from the land…most merciful” was revealed about polytheists. If any of them repents before they are arrested, it does not prevent from inflicting on him the prescribed punishment which he deserves.”

        Like

    • A possibility, sure. Is that how you’d do it if you were a creator spirit who decided to Woo existence into existence? To me, at least, that sounds like the hand of an experimenter, a researcher, a curious investigator. That’s certainly a possibility, and it makes far greater sense in understanding the makeup of things if we want to see a conscious hand in everything. Remove the external/supernal “conscious” player in the drama, of course, and we have nature as is. Occams Razor would certainly favour that explanation over the more complicated, oftentimes logically absurd, one.

      Like

    • Thanks, my sneaker-wearing friend! It’s true, if we employ the actual rationale the Yahwehist uses to explain the universe, but do it honestly, we arrive at malevolence, not benevolence, as the best possible explanation for the world we see. In this light it’s best, I think, to just leave all notions of conscious agency alone, and assume full responsibility ourselves.

      Like

  36. @BOBBIERILEYJR says: ;March 16, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Quote “And why would you leave out Sura 5:38

    “[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah . And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” Unquote

    Paarsurrey replies:

    This verse was not missed; it was given in my post of March 16, 2014 at 9:16 pm; it was numbered [5:39] , and read “And as for the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands in retribution of their offence as an exemplary punishment from Allah. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.”

    THE MISSING VERSE WAS:

    “[5:38] They will wish to come out of the Fire, but they will not be able to come out of it, and they shall have a lasting punishment.”

    Later the mistake was rectified with these words:

    “I have made the necessary correction on my blog where I quoted the verses; you may check it there, please.
    There is no edit button here for correction.”

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

    This is just to straighten the record.

    Like

  37. @BOBBIERILEYJR says:March 17, 2014 at 10:48 pm
    “This is getting a tad tiresome.”

    It is not at all difficult; and not at all tiresome.

    I think that you have not intently studied Quran yourself previously and have adopted the objections from some other website source or a book. The second hand study is never appropriate and correct for research or search.

    Whenever I wanted to know something about other religions I always studied the scripture of that religion by myself and only then commented on that religion.

    If that is the case; there is no harm to study it now or to study it again.

    The Holy Quran: Chapter 5: Al-Ma’idah is not very long. Please start studying it from the very first verse to finish at its end; then again read and while reading whatever the question arises naturally to you kindly write it down on a paper. If the question gets clear in the subsequent verses please cancel the question; and this way please finish the chapter; till the whole contents of the chapter are very clear to you.

    This may take two or three days or even less; but it is worthwhile trying it.

    We could discuss the verses under discussion afterwards.

    No hurry, please.

    It is just a friendly discussion.

    Other friends are also welcome to adopt the same measure.

    Thanks and regards

    Like

  38. Pingback: How to study Quran for a meaningful discussion? | paarsurrey

  39. I would like my friends here to read the following for a preliminary understanding the “Question of Suffering”:

    “When we explore the history of evolution in search of the causative factors which gave birth to the sensory organs as life evolved, we can safely conclude that right from the beginning they have always been the sense of loss and gain. We identify the journey of evolution to be a long procession of some obscure realization of gains and losses which gradually evolved the sensory organs to register the presence of pleasure and pain, comfort and suffering.

    If we look back at the lower forms of life, at the first few rungs of the ladder and compare them with the higher forms of life near the top, it is not difficult to recognize that in real terms the evolution is the evolution of consciousness. Life is constantly spiraling up from a lesser state of consciousness to a higher state with continuously sharpening faculties of awareness.

    The awareness of gain and loss is rather vague and obscure in the beginning, and we cannot locate a definite seat for this awareness in the anatomy of rudimentary organisms. But we know from their reactions to the surrounding elements and situations that they do possess some defused sense of awareness. It is this diffused inexplicable sense which is employed somehow by the Creator to initiate the sense of perception in life.

    This sense of perception gradually developed and created its own seats in the organism of life. It is these seats which got precipitated ultimately into what we know now as sensory organs. The creation of the brain was not a separate and unrelated incident. No development of sensory organs could be meaningful without a corresponding development of a central nervous system and a simultaneous evolution of the brain, which could decipher the messages transmitted by the sensory organs.

    Evidently therefore, the brain developed as an essential counterpart of the system of perception. The more evolved the consciousness becomes, the more intense grows the sense of loss and gain felt by specific nerve centres which translate the awareness of loss as suffering, and gain as pleasure, to the mind through the brain.
    The less developed the consciousness, the smaller is the awareness of suffering. The same goes for happiness.

    Thus, the sensory provisions for the recognition of suffering and happiness are indispensable to each other. It is quite likely that if the level to which suffering can be experienced is reduced, its opposite number, the capacity to feel pleasure and happiness, will also be lowered to the same degree. The two seem to participate equally in propelling the wheel of evolution; both possess equal significance. One cannot be done away with alone without the other, thus nullifying the entire creative plan of evolution.

    We understand from the Holy Quran, that God did not create suffering as an independent entity in its own right, but only as an indispensable counterpart of pleasure and comfort. The absence of happiness is suffering, which is like its shadow, just as darkness is the shadow cast by the absence of light. If there is life, there has to be death; both are situated at the extreme poles of the same plane, with innumerable grades and shades in between.

    As we move away from death, we gradually move towards a state of life which is happiness; as we move away from life, we move away with a sense of loss and sorrow towards death. This is the key to understanding the struggle for existence, which in turn leads to a constant improvement in the quality of life and helps it to achieve the ultimate goal of evolution. The principle of the “survival of the fittest” plays an integral role in this grand scheme of evolution.”

    Mirza Tahir Ahmad
    http://www.alislam.org/library/books/revelation/part_2_section_6.html

    Like

      • @BOBBIERILEYJR :March 19, 2014 at 2:26 am
        “What verse, or Chapter, in you Qur’an do you get this knowledge?”Unquote

        “This phenomenon is mentioned in the Holy Quran in the following verse:

        Blessed is He in whose hand is the kingdom, and He has power over all things;
        It is He Who has created death and life that He might try you—which of you is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the Most Forgiving. *67:2-3
        The answer to the question ‘Why is there suffering?’ is clearly implied in this verse in its widest application.”

        Mirza Tahir Ahmad
        http://www.alislam.org/library/books/revelation/part_2_section_6.html

        *

        تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
        TRANSLITERATION:
        tabāraka lladhī bi-yadihi l-mulku wa-huwa ʿalā kulli shayʾin qadīrun-i

        الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ
        TRANSLITERATION:
        alladhī khalaqa l-mawta wa-l-ḥayāta li-yabluwakum ʾayyukum ʾaḥsanu ʿamalan wa-huwa l-ʿazīzu l-ghafūru

        You asked a good question.

        Thanks and regards

        Like

  40. Pingback: “Survival of the Fittest” plays its role in suffering and happiness | paarsurrey

  41. Pingback: ‘Why is there suffering?’ | paarsurrey

  42. Pingback: One-True-God; He is the Gracious the Merciful; very truly | paarsurrey

  43. Further on suffering

    The profound philosophy of life and death, the innumerable shades in between, and the role they play in shaping life and improving its quality are all noteworthy.

    We know that life is only a positive value, and death merely means its absence, and no sharp border exists separating one from the other. It is a gradual process; the way life travels towards death and ebbs out, or from the other direction we view death travelling towards life gaining strength, energy and consciousness as it moves on. This is the grand plan of creation.

    It is the perpetual struggle between life and death that subjects the living to a constant state of trial, so that all who conduct themselves best survive and gain a higher status of existence.

    It is this constant struggle between the forces of life and the forces of death which provide the thrust to the living to perpetually move away from death or towards it. It may result either in the improvement or deterioration in the quality of existence in the wide spectrum of evolutionary changes. This is the essence and spirit of evolution.

    Suffering could only be considered objectionable if it were created as an independent entity with no meaningful role to play in the scheme of things. But without the taste of suffering or an awareness of what it means, the feeling of relief and comfort would also vanish. Without an encounter with pain and misery, most certainly, joy and happiness would lose all meaning. Indeed the very existence of life would lose purpose, and the steps of evolution would stop dead in their tracks.

    Mirza Tahir Ahmad
    http://www.alislam.org/library/books/revelation/part_2_section_6.html

    Like

  44. Pingback: Suffering: the steps of evolution would stop dead | paarsurrey

    • “utterly demolished,” huh? LOL! You failed to present a single coherent, predicatively accurate argument… But kudos for trying. I see, though, that after 4 months it still bothers you. Dare I say it, you’re traumatised by it. You should be, and that’s only more evidence for the omnimalevolent creator. The anguish and anxiety you’re so evidently feeling is there now by design, your footing uncertain, your thoughts clouded and confused… and that’s cause for serious concern! If I believed in such nonsense I’d be worried, too 😉

      Like

      • Sorry, but not only did I completely demolish your little thought experiment, you ended up running away with the tail between your legs the moment I exposed your shameless fraudulent assertions for what they are (ie. I showed that the “evidence” you cited to support your case not only did not say what you claimed it said, but actually said the exact opposite!). Any person with half a brain who reads through our arguments in that link will be able to see through your empty rhetoric now.

        In any case, I thought it would be prudent to bring this here. But for some reason I wasn’t able to post on your blog until now. Yet, even now your casual relationship with the facts is openly manifested. It’s true that I made the claim that Nature is omniscient, but just because I’m part of Nature doesn’t mean that I’m also omniscient. So there is no reason to think that your post bothered me a full month and a half before you even wrote it. 😉

        Like

      • If you weren’t traumatised by it, why then are you still so clearly bothered by it? If you’re so confident you established a case that the world we see around is, in fact, guided by a loving, mindful, thoughtful Middle Eastern deity (a designer who has our best interests at heart and expresses this love by manufacturing forever more virulent diseases just so death and suffering and human anxiety is always kept fresh and alive… a designer whose Masterpiece proceeds always and only by Crisis, which forces urgent Response, before the next Crisis tears it all down) why are you, over four months later, still shouting to the air? If you weren’t tormented, why come here, where the conversation didn’t even take place, and start squawking like a spooked child that you did, did, did, did, did counter the presence of the Omnimalevolent Designer?

        Your actions, I’m afraid to say, betray your profoundly disturbed state of mind.

        What did you do, tweak our very long thread; editing out those personally embarrassing moments, smoothing over your arguments, inserting those little nuggets which kept you up late at night as you kicked yourself for not making at the time, manicuring and altering your words to now read better? Is that why you’re here now promoting yourself?

        Like

      • I see that you’re back to your regular debating mode: a) distort and mischaracterize my position, b) ignore all evidence that contradict your assertions and pretend like they don’t exist, c) plow on with your debunked argument as if nothing happened.

        Sorry, but I’m not going to participate in this farce. First, you said nothing new here that I didn’t already debunk. And second, you and your argument already lost all credibility the moment you decided to make misleading claims and falsify evidence to support your case.

        And now this:
        “What did you do, tweak our very long thread; editing out those personally embarrassing moments, smoothing over your arguments, inserting those little nuggets which kept you up late at night as you kicked yourself for not making at the time, manicuring and altering your words to now read better? Is that why you’re here now promoting yourself?”

        What I joke. Both of us know the truth about your fraudulent assertions – both there and now here. Both of us know that you knowingly falsified evidence to promote your case, and then ran away from the debate the moment I exposed your fraud. How pathetic.

        Also, “over four months later”? Please. What a transparent lie. You only penned this post on March 10. So anyone can do the math on how credible your claims are.

        Like

      • Fraudulent assertions? LOL!!! Are you trying to say presenting the case for a fictitious creator spirit is some type of “fraud”? That is truly, truly priceless!

        I’m sorry, but now it’s beyond all doubt that you are in a desperate, hysterical emotional state over all this. Clearly you’ve been psychologically crippled, your mind vandalised and your worldview irrevocably corrupted by your pronounced inability to defend your precious (also fictitious) Middle Eastern deity.

        I feel genuine sympathy for you. If I actually believed in this nonsense I’d be beside myself with the same terror and anxiety you’re so evidently struggling with. Perhaps, just perhaps, I’d be as traumatised as you are today, babbling incoherently like an inconsolable child whose favourite toy has been broken, and can’t be repaired. Certainly, the reality of the situation, from your vantage, is dangerously unsavoury. Who else, after all, but the immaculate embodiment of wickedness would gift his most treasured instruments of amusement the power to dream and imagine… For what greater perverted pleasure is there for a wicked creator than permitting your prey to hope for an alternative outcome?

        Like

      • Exhibit A, John Zande wrote:
        “Just yesterday NASA released a report that ASSURED our civilisation will collapse. Guaranteed.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists

        Assured? Guaranteed? Hmm… Let’s look at Exhibit B (ie. what the article actually says):

        “the scientists point out that the worst-case scenarios are by no means inevitable, and suggest that appropriate policy and structural changes could avoid collapse, if not pave the way toward a more stable civilisation.”

        (http://www.geopolitics.us/proving-god-exists/#comment-29917)

        Sorry, but your desperate and hysterical attempts to cover up your intellectual dishonesty with empty rhetoric about my supposed emotional state is not going to work. It is transparent. And pathetic.

        Like

      • Pathetic now? My goodness, you really are in a disturbed and disorganised emotional state, aren’t you? Rest assured, the Omnimalevolent Creator is taking great pleasure in your panic-stricken spasms.

        Now, the example you’ve dragged over from your blog is a perfect example, so thanks for helping me demonstrate your delusional state of mind. The context of that tiny window was, as I recall, the guaranteed collapse of our civilisation; a working example of habituation, which is part of the Wicked Creators ingenious method of maximising suffering over time. Habituation, exampled by periods of relative calm is, of course, permitted by the owner of All Infernal Names as this momentary respite in large-scale suffering enables a population (human or animal) to set a new high-water mark of pleasure. Believing, erroneously, the greater environment to be stable they forget the horrors of a few generations before (the droughts, volcanoes, economic depression, war, pestilence, dictatorship, genocide) and get comfortable under the stars. They are lulled into a false sense of security, and this encourages the population to start making greater and greater investments in future enterprises. This is precisely what the Wicked Creator desires his playthings to do. Larger, longer-term investments in the future (families, cultural infrastructure, exploration, empire building, etc.) increases the scale and depth of the canvas available to inflict evil over: the maximisation of suffering over time.
        As a timely example, the NASA funded report came out just that day, or perhaps the day before. It says:

        “global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution… the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”

        That was the extent of it. A study that just so happened to be published as we were discussing the ingenuity and genius of the Wicked Creators monstrous ways. A side note, at best. Being one of the Wicked Creators favourite toys, a gullible adult who dreams of Santa Claus, you (predictably, by design) ignored the greater meat of the work and instead leapt on a single, cheerfully tranquilising line, which read:

        “the scientists point out that the worst-case scenarios are by no means inevitable, and suggest that appropriate policy and structural changes could avoid collapse, if not pave the way toward a more stable civilisation.”

        Unquestionably, this line is custom made for a person of your fragile, traumatised, fabulously naïve disposition. It is nothing but vaporous wishful thinking; a dream thrown against the “compelling historical data.” There is very little evidence of anything profoundly positive happening, just the author’s hopeful thoughts that maybe, just maybe, we might (all limbs crossed) skirt through and avoid the inevitable disaster, if only. The truth is, we in fact have examples of the opposite happening. North Carolina just yesterday sunseted the bulk of their environmental laws, ensuring future environmental cataclysm. People, by design, are experts are deluding themselves. Just look at the title of the Guardian article itself: “Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’?” The question mark attached to the end is a sensational example of humans with manacled minds and blinkered eyes. Clearly, the Wicked Creator fashioned these tools of deceit, but it is human beings, like yourself, and the person who attached the out-of-place question mark, who wield these ghastly instruments of spurious self-deception. Free Will is, after all, an evil unto itself.

        That said, this soothing, numbing, but utterly fallacious hope for an alternative outcome is precisely what the Wicked Creator desires. He instilled in his most treasured instruments this ability to ignore reality, to self-deceive, to self-betray; to cross their fingers and knock on wood. This gives Him great pleasure. I’d imagine, in fact, it’s presently making Him delirious with perverted excitement. The prey has to be allowed to hope for a different ending, for without that naïve, juvenile bumbling forward there could be no new high water mark, no habituation, no future investments… and the Wicked Creator lusts for these things to be built up as high as they can, just so He can tear them down at a time of His choosing… Maximising suffering over time.

        Like

      • Besides, your entire blog, and every single post in it shows the signs of obsessiveness and lack of self-assurance. It is almost as if you wake up in the middle of the night, completely covered in sweat, and then go to a corner in your room and repeat to yourself: “He isn’t real! He isn’t real! He isn’t real!” Then, after you calm down, you go and churn out another post about why god isn’t real. I do feel sorry for you however. You clearly have a way with words. I just don’t understand why you’re stuck on this one subject. It’s quite sad.

        Like

      • LOL! Project much? Classic hysterical outburst of an emotionally unstable person. You should try actually reading some of my posts… You might learn a thing or two.

        Like

      • It’s really painful to watch your contortions. You’re like a fly caught in a spider’s web. The more you try to extricate yourself the more entangled you become in your own lies.

        You see, if this was a simple misunderstanding, and you did not deliberately falsify the evidence, you’d have no problem showing how the article you cited says what you claim it says (“Just yesterday NASA released a report that ASSURED our civilisation will collapse. Guaranteed.”). Yet, after your long-winded explanation, you’re still nowhere near showing that. In fact, you’re still at square one. But of course, it’s not just that – the fact that you ran away from the debate the moment I exposed your fabrication says it all.

        But let’s look at your fictitious claims here. You claimed that “The context of that tiny window was, as I recall, the guaranteed collapse of our civilisation.” Well, you recall incorrectly. The context (as anyone can see in the link: http://www.geopolitics.us/proving-god-exists/#comment-29913) is the following: you wanted me to “disprove” your theory. Now, after debunking every single point you made about the supposed existence of an omnimalevolent creator, I also explained to you that it is impossible to “disprove” anything.

        I cannot disprove the theory that the world was created five minutes ago by incredibly smart mosquitos, because for every reasonable argument I put forward against such theory, you can put forward a hundred imaginary arguments to explain away the facts.

        Therefore, the value of any theory can be judged based on how well it meets the following criteria: 1) whether it is refutable, 2) how much explanatory value it has (ie. how accurately describes the evidence we have), and 3) how much predictive value it has.

        The question then was which theory was better. The theory I proposed (here: http://www.geopolitics.us/proving-god-exists/) of Nature being benevolent, or the theory you proposed, of an omnimalevolent creator.

        Now, my theory predicted the following: “the better we understand the laws that govern the world and the laws that govern life, and the more steadfastly we adhere to these laws, the more life will flourish. Conversely, the more ignorant we are of these laws, and the more we neglect to follow them, the more destruction will result.”

        I asked you what predictive value does your theory have, to which you replied:

        “Suffering is guaranteed, and the Omnimalevolent designer has made it such that suffering is always increased over time.”

        After that, I presented you with data that showed your prediction has no basis in reality:

        “According to Harvard Prof. Steven Pinker: “Believe it or not, the world of the past was much worse. Violence has been in decline for thousands of years, and today we may be living in the most peaceable era in the existence of our species.” (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424053111904106704576583203589408180). That is true even if you include all the carnage of the World Wars and the genocides of the past century.”

        So again, your little theory predicted that “the Omnimalevolent designer has made it such that suffering is always increased over time”. Yet the data shows the exact opposite, since violence is declining and has been declining for THOUSANDS OF YEARS!!! In other words, there is literally no way for a theory to have WORSE predictive value than your theory. It is simply IMPOSSIBLE to have a WORSE fit for the data.

        Now, at this point any mature individual would concede defeat and save himself any further humiliation. Only an individual with a pathologically compulsive personality as yourself, who cannot tolerate being wrong, would be in such deep denial of reality to act out of sheer desperation and falsify evidence to make his case.

        So what was your response?

        “…This, as I have already detailed, is permissible as we’re increasing our peak pleasure mark. Having known some semblance of remote peace will only enhance the total war which will come…”

        (what did I say about imaginary arguments to explain away the facts?)

        And then you said this: “Just yesterday NASA released a report that ASSURED our civilisation will collapse. Guaranteed.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists

        So again, out of the two competing theories, which one has better predictive value? You see, nothing the article said was inconsistent with what the theory I proposed stated. Yet, you had to demonstrate the suffering will AWLAYS increase – your words, not mine. Otherwise, your theory is complete trash. Nothing in the article supported a anything your theory predicted. Nothing.

        So let’s look at your assertion: “Just yesterday NASA released a report that ASSURED our civilisation will collapse. Guaranteed.””

        Clearly, the key words are “assured” and “guaranteed”. This is what you were trying to prove by citing this article. But when you read through the article, there is nothing to indicate that a collapse is assured or guaranteed. Even in the quote you yourself cited it says: “global industrial civilisation COULD collapse.” Could. Not guaranteed.

        It then says: “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”

        Again: “recurrent cycle found throughout history” – not the dominant cycle, just A cycle you find throughout history. The “Cases of severe civilizational disruption… have been quite common.” Quite common is not quite the same as ALWAYS the case. Lung cancer is quite common. But that doesn’t mean that it’s GUARANTEED that everyone will have it. So again, nothing in the article is in line with what you had to demonstrate.

        It further states that the study found that: “according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse” – “susceptible,” again, not the same as MUST collapse.

        Then you have: “collapse is difficult to avoid” – again, “difficult to avoid” is not the same as IMPOSSIBLE to avoid. Which is what you have to demonstrate.

        But then there are a few more interesting things the article says. For example this: “By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilisational decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, Population, Climate, Water, Agriculture, and Energy.”

        You see, the article talks about our ability to determine and predict such factors, which is what the theory I presented talks about.

        And then, of course, the coup-de-grace which completely demolishes your case: “the scientists point out that the worst-case scenarios are by no means inevitable, and suggest that appropriate policy and structural changes could avoid collapse, if not pave the way toward a more stable civilisation.”

        Once again. The fact that there is such a POSSIBILITY means that your claim that it is ASSURED and GUARANTEED are nothing but lies.

        The article then goes on to describe what has to be done to avoid the scenario of collapse:
        “The two key solutions are to reduce economic inequality so as to ensure fairer distribution of resources, and to dramatically reduce resource consumption by relying on less intensive renewable resources and reducing population growth:

        “Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion.”

        Read that again: “Collapse can be avoided” – a direct contradiction of your fraudulent claim that collapse is assured.

        So again, as I said. Your empty rhetoric cannot hide the fact that your little thought experiment has ZERO predictive value and ZERO explanatory value. It is just like any other theological musing out there. 100% faith-based, not fact-based. Your empty rhetoric also cannot cover up the fact that you knowingly falsified evidence to make your case. Which means that you and your theory lost any credibility it could possibly have. How pathetic.

        Like

      • Again with the pathetic? Word of advice: For even the most poorly thought-through screed to be meaningful it has to be rooted in reality.

        Falsify the evidence? LOL! By “evidence” are you referring to the article written by Nafeez Ahmed? That’s not evidence, its opinion of the NASA study, and once again you are, predictably, ignoring the meat of the findings: the “compelling historical data.” This is, of course, the expected behaviour of the delusional and hopelessly naïve, and at the same time it is precisely as the Omnimalevolent Creator desires. As one of His most treasured tools, an adult who believes in benevolent magical cosmic fairies, you are dancing exactly as He hopes.

        Your obsession over this one article (a side note in a larger conversation which you are ignoring) is, however, quite telling. Let us therefore deal with your statement: “The article then goes on to describe what has to be done to avoid the scenario of collapse.” Now I’m not surprised you can’t see it, the inhibiters in your mind are strong and cloud your capacity to grasp reality, but it’s painfully clear that you are simply incapable of distinguishing between things which “should” be done, and things that “are” being done.” Here’s a hint: one is real and tangible, the other is vague and airy. The things you’re running up the flagpole are things “hoped for,” not things that are being effected. These are vaporous dreams, suggestions, wishes, pleas stood up like a grinning, substanceless wicker man against the ocean of “compelling historical data.” Again, North Carolina just this week marched backwards when in an act of sheer lunacy eliminated almost all its environmental laws. Tell me, how many new fracking wells were sunk today, and can you point to a single thing being “done” to eliminate wealth inequality in a real and meaningful way? Can you produce a single study which shows the wealth gap moving in any direction other than further and further apart?

        You see, you cling to this hope of things wished for, which, in the face of compelling contradictory data, can only be described as cute, but dangerously naïve.

        We move on.

        My theory predicted the following: “the better we understand the laws that govern the world and the laws that govern life, and the more steadfastly we adhere to these laws, the more life will flourish. Conversely, the more ignorant we are of these laws, and the more we neglect to follow them, the more destruction will result.”

        Pure wishful, deluded thinking. The opposite is, in fact, true. The more we have learnt about the world the greater and more efficient our destruction of it has become. Bronze Age swords broke against Iron Swords, after all, and chemistry has given us the carbon fuel economy and plastics. Man Made Global Climate Change will ruin a billion lives, but tell the billion Chinese families, and the 1.5 billion Indian families coming up behind them, that we, sitting comfortably in deckchairs on our manicured lawns, can’t possibly afford them to have a refrigerator and a car.

        You bring up Pinker, and I’m glad you do. To refresh your memory, I did not entirely disagree with you regarding his paper, although his measures are fantastically flawed. For example, he cites the genocides named in the Pentateuch as being real, and we know today the Pentateuch is nothing but inventive 7th and 6th Century BCE geopolitical fiction. None of it happened outside of the imaginations of a few Canaanite hill-villagers. It doesn’t, therefore, fill one with great confidence in a person’s ability to accurately describe reality if he can’t distinguish between inventive geopolitical myth and actual historical fact.

        That said, let’s be perfectly clear about something vitally important: Pinker only deals with human-on-human violence, and to be honest, his conclusions are highly debatable. But forget that, there is a larger conversation at hand. Surveying the wicked genius of the Omnimalevolent Creators debased works by looking only at human-on-human violence is like studying a grain of sand and then claiming you can explain the planet. It’s juvenile beyond measure… But again, this is precisely how the Omnimalevolent Creator likes it. Innocence is His favourite toy, and you are thrilling Him in the way you dance.

        To continue: the general theme of Pinker’s dubious observation is a perfect example of the habituation permitted by the owner of All Infernal Names. His six major reference points represent phases of human cultural evolution where the greater canvas of potential suffering was vastly, predictively, increased! Let us take his first phase: the movement from hunter gatherer clans to permanent settlements. This alone increased the human population perhaps 100-fold in short order. The result: more bodies, doing more things over longer lifespans, which ultimately means more scope for suffering. An earthquake striking a clan of 30 nomadic hunter-gatherers produces, at best, only fear and momentary anxiety. The same earthquake striking a city of 30,000 individuals is exceedingly more efficient in delivering evil; destroying buildings, public infrastructure, businesses, and ruining lives that had invested considerable time, money, and emotional capital in a future now obliterated.

        Suffering is not simply violence. Its greatest expression is in dashed hopes. For the sadistically minded, killing your prey produces only momentary enjoyment, a thrill that is over in a flash, but to permit your prey to live through calamity, to weep and lament, to feel anguish over all that was lost, to suffer with injuries, well, that is evil genius.

        Consider then also the increased suffering of beasts wrestled into the service of this early city; the enslaved beasts of labour, the herds bred for slaughter and pointless, bloody sacrifice. Consider the suffering of war horses, run through with spears and left to bleed out on battlefields, or the Ox beaten into submission and destined to spend its entire life walking in a tight circle in the servitude of flour and bread. Think of the polluted rivers and the destruction of natural habitats; forests torn down for construction material, level ground clear-felled for intensive single crop agriculture which has been utterly ruinous to the biodiversity nature craves for.

        Our success has been an environmental nightmare. That single movement from nomadic lifestyle to settlements exploded open the field of potential, more intimate suffering, including the new phenomena of ravenous, virulent diseases (plagues) that spread like wildfire through populations crammed into settlements ringed by high walls erected out of extreme anxiety and fear. All this before we even begin to acknowledge the new phenomena of greed and theft as possessions and inequality became a staple of human civilisation.

        Oh no, human-on-human violence is a tiny, barely perceptible fraction of the suffering the Omnimalevolent Creator let’s fall on us. Map human development and we see a single, unbroken, unstoppable movement toward ever-increasing suffering and environmental destruction. Consult the species that have been wiped from the face of the planet through human expansion. Survey the oceans and the flooded valleys and the drought ridden expanses. Ask the billions of battery hens and encaged sows how good life is since humans rose. Spend a moment to talk to the baby chimpanzee as shampoo is poured into its pried open eyes just so a formula can be tweaked so a human child’s eyes aren’t irritated when she washes her hair. Consider these things as you sip on a cup of tiger penis tea, or enjoy a bowl of piping hot shark fin soup, or take that remedy siphoned from the stomachs of living sun bears holed up in cages a few inches larger than they are.

        Undeniably, our success (internally bloodied and as violent as it has been) has been an environmental nightmare, and if in the odd chance we are, in fact, killing fewer of our own today than yesterday as Pinker so wishfully suggests, it only means there are more of us to pollute and corrupt this planet, and ultimately plough ever faster through her finite resources.

        So you see, your delusion is laid bare. Our communion with suffering is intricate and intimate, deep and pervasive. It is a forever expanding, forever deepening river, guided by the Omnimalevolent Creator; a creature who is elated when the self-deceiving, you, focus on the tiny and the miniscule, the non-existent and the dreamed of, for that, to Him, means you’re blindly readying yourself for what He has in mind.

        Like

      • Wishful thinking indeed. Let’s look again at that which was your last hope to salvage any sense of intellectual integrity in the face of overwhelming evidence to the fact that you knowingly falsified evidence to support your cooked up theory:

        Again, this is your claim: “Just yesterday NASA released a report that ASSURED our civilisation will collapse. Guaranteed.”

        And this is the only sliver of hope in that article you had to point to to justify your intellectual dishonesty: “and once again you are, predictably, ignoring the meat of the findings: the “compelling historical data.””

        So what “compelling historical data” did the article talk about? Remember. You have to prove that the “compelling historical data” has to point to ASSURED, GUARANTEED civilization collapse. But does the article actually say anything remotely close to what you claimed it says? Let’s see what that paragraph in the article actually says:

        “the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”

        So it’s “compelling historical data” that shows a recurrent cycle found throughout history. Not THE recurrent cycle. Just A recurrent cycle.

        It then says: “Cases of severe civilisational disruption… have been quite common.” So how does this vindicate your intentional deception? Where does it prove ASSURED and GUARANTEED civilization collapse? Nowhere. There are lots of things that are “quite common” but “quite common” is not the same as ASSURED, or GUARANTEED to affect everyone. Yet, this is PRECISELY what you had to prove (remember? “Suffering is GUARANTEED, and the Omnimalevolent designer has made it such that suffering is ALWAYS increased over time.” – your words, with my emphasis).

        It is clear beyond doubt that the article does not say what you claim it says. “compelling historical data” of a “a recurrent cycle found throughout history” and “quite common” civilization collapse is not even remotely close to what you had to demonstrate (ie. “Just yesterday NASA released a report that ASSURED our civilisation will collapse. Guaranteed.”).

        No amount of rhetorical acrobatics on your part can bridge the massive chasm between what you WISH the article said, and what the article actually said. But you know what, even if the article did say that our civilization is guaranteed to collapse (which it doesn’t), you still have all your work ahead of you to show how such collapse would reverse THOUSANDS OF YEARS of decline in violence. At most, it would reverse 20-50 years. Not thousands of years. Though you WISH this was the case – to salvage the little sliver of hope you have to prove you debunked and fraudulent theory – it’s just not going to happen.

        In any case, I see no point debating you any further. As I’ve already demonstrated beyond doubt, your theory has zero predictive value, and you have zero intellectual integrity. So enjoy your grand delusion.

        Like

      • Well, if we needed any more evidence of how emotionally crippled you are, we now have it. Tell me, just how much sleep have you been losing over all this?

        To address your yapping: “Just yesterday NASA released a report that ASSURED our civilisation will collapse. Guaranteed.” Yes, that is a sentence I wrote in passing while outlining a much, much broader subject which you are, of course, ignoring because you have no counter to it. Regardless, let’s dash your little semantic game once and for all. What it seems you’re utterly desperate to get out there is this: “But.” That is to say, “But there’s a glimmer of hope if we do X, Y, Z.” Now seriously, which part of “We. Aren’t. Doing. Any. Of. Y. Y. Z” don’t you get?

        Now, I’d suggest you actually read the study yourself, rather than basing your entire inane diatribe on a 989 word article about the study. That’s usually how informed folk go about things.

        http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~ekalnay/pubs/2014-03-18-handy1-paper-draft-safa-motesharrei-rivas-kalnay.pdf

        Here is part of studies summary:

        Collapses of even advanced civilizations have occurred many times in the past five thousand years, and they were frequently followed by centuries of population and cultural decline and economic regression. Although many different causes have been offered to explain individual collapses, it is still necessary to develop a more general explanation. In this paper we attempt to build a simple mathematical model to explore the essential dynamics of interaction between population and natural resources. It allows for the two features that seem to appear across societies that have collapsed: the stretching of resources due to strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity, and the division of society into Elites (rich) and Commoners (poor).

        In sum, the results of our experiments, discussed in section 6, indicate that either one of the two features apparent in historical societal collapse – over-exploitation of natural resources and strong economic stratification – can independently result in a complete collapse. Given economic stratification, collapse is very difficult to avoid and requires major policy changes., including major reductions in inequality and population growth rates. Even in the absence of economic stratification, collapse can still occur if depletion per capita is too high. However, collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resoureces are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion.

        So, we have the first guaranteed cause of collapse occurring due to “strong economic stratification.” Now, low and beyond, you rather conveniently ignored my request for data which shows the wealth gap decreasing. Of course, you cannot produce such data because we both know such data does not exist. Not only is the wealth gap widening exponentially, it is doing so at a faster and faster rate every year. Oh dear. And then we have the second guaranteed cause for collapse being rapid “depletion of natural resources.” Now, are you seriously going to try and argue that we’re extracting natural resources in a viable and sustainable manner? Perhaps you can tell me how many coal-fired plants are being built in China next week and where that coal is coming from, or maybe you’d like to detail the wonders of new leaching techniques, and while you’re at it, let’s hear about fracking. What about water resources, arable land, and clean air? Would you like to discuss how these things are all peachy and being managed by corporations who have our best interests at heart?

        I’m afraid to say, but there’s your fretful, fractious, specious screed shot down in flames.

        Now, congratulations on completely and entirely ignoring the latter argument as presented. It’s damaging, I understand, when it’s laid out so visibly. It hurts you, and for that I do apologise. Putting your hands over your ears and screaming “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah” won’t, however, make the truth disappear, so it seems I have to repeat myself:

        Suffering is not simply violence. Its greatest expression is in dashed hopes. For the sadistically minded, killing your prey produces only momentary enjoyment, a thrill that is over in a flash, but to permit your prey to live through calamity, to weep and lament, to feel anguish over all that was lost, to suffer with injuries, well, that is evil genius…. And if in the odd chance we are, in fact, killing fewer of our own today than yesterday as Pinker so wishfully suggests, it only means there are more of us to pollute and corrupt this planet, and ultimately plough ever faster through her finite resources.

        And with this in mind, I would suggest you just leave this alone. For your fragile, delicate disposition the implications of this subject are evidently too ghastly, too awful, too offensive, too unthinkable for you to continue and hope to retain some feeble grasp on your sanity. As it is, you’re already far too traumatised by this experience, so for your own health, withdraw into that netherworld where tranquilising daydreams are sold over polished countertops. Enjoy your comfort foods, tell yourself over and over again that everything is not what it seems, and admire that hand drawn picture of your particular Middle Eastern god; that benevolent architect and superhero to the duplicitous and half-accomplished adventurer.

        Like

      • Oh, Johnny Johnny Johnny. Once again you come to a mental gunfight unarmed. With every comment your predicament becomes clearer.

        You try to rebuild your little debunked theory, building up hope that maybe – just maybe – your fraud would go unnoticed for a little while longer. Though you know perfectly well that your dreams will once again be dashed the moment I reply.

        Perhaps you summarized your own predicament best here: “Suffering is not simply violence. Its greatest expression is in dashed hopes. For the sadistically minded…”

        You see, YOU are the sadistically minded! But you’re not just a sadist – it’s actually much worse. You’re a sadomasochist! You derive some perverse pleasure from being humiliated, and from being exposed as a fraud again and again. That’s why I don’t want to continue this perverse show of yours. So let me tell you this in the most friendly manner possible: John, you need to get help!

        Now let’s look at what’s left of that sorry thing you call a theory. So ones again, this is what you claimed your “theory” predicted:

        “Suffering is guaranteed, and the Omnimalevolent designer has made it such that suffering is always increased over time.”

        Then you said this about the article you cited:

        “Just yesterday NASA released a report that ASSURED our civilisation will collapse. Guaranteed.”

        Thus, it is evident that for you to demonstrate your point you have to show that the world is designed in such a way that it is IMPOSSIBLE for living beings (and humans in particular) to understand the world they live in, to make predictions about possible destructive scenarios, and then to act based on these predictions so they can avoid the destruction (thus making life flourish). Now, granted, your theory predicts that we CAN make predictions about coming disasters (because supposedly that magnifies our suffering). However, you have to prove that it is IMPOSSIBLE for us to act based on our predictions. Because if we CAN act on our predictions, and avoid the coming destruction, then suffering is NOT guaranteed, and must NOT always increase. That’s what you had to show (and obviously what you miserably failed at).

        Now don’t pretend like this is some sort of a semantic game we’re playing. Unless you can demonstrate that it is IMPOSSIBLE for us to act in a way that avoids destruction you cannot substantiate your fictitious claim that: “Suffering is GUARANTEED, and the Omnimalevolent designer has made it such that suffering is ALWAYS increased over time.”

        So let’s look again at the quotes you posted from the article, that you claimed showed “compelling historical data” which supposedly says that a “rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history”:

        “In this paper we attempt to build a simple mathematical model to explore the essential dynamics of interaction between population and natural resources. It allows for the two features that seem to appear across societies that have collapsed: the stretching of resources due to strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity, and the division of society into Elites (rich) and Commoners (poor).”

        So here we see scientists making a simple mathematical model that can EXPLAIN the rise and collapse of societies and PREDICT when another collapse is likely. What we also see is that this is an ECONOMIC model – it is based on how society is structured and how resources are used. Thus, the underlying cause which explains 100% of the data is the ECONOMIC (capitalist) structure of society. So far so good.

        Let’s also take a look at some of your claims for increased suffering:

        “…Consider then also the increased suffering of beasts wrestled into the service of this early city; the enslaved beasts of labour, the herds bred for slaughter and pointless, bloody sacrifice. Consider the suffering of war horses, run through with spears and left to bleed out on battlefields, or the Ox beaten into submission and destined to spend its entire life walking in a tight circle in the servitude of flour and bread. Think of the polluted rivers and the destruction of natural habitats; forests torn down for construction material, level ground clear-felled for intensive single crop agriculture which has been utterly ruinous to the biodiversity nature craves for.”

        Once again, the underlying cause which explains 100% of your claims is the ECONOMIC (capitalist) structure of society.

        Since all the suffering you outlined is an intrinsic property of our economic structure (and it is, all 100% of it), then you have to demonstrate that our current economic structure is UNALTERABLE – that it is divinely enforced. But our economic structure is not unalterable or divinely enforced. Which means that once there is a better economic paradigm, which resolves the issues above, and puts humanity (as well as other living beings and the environment) on a path to sustained growth and prosperity (thus forever breaking the cycle of rise-and-collapse of civilizations), then it is only a matter of time until it is universally adopted. Yet, you have to prove that this CANNOT be (remember, you have to show that it is IMPOSSIBLE for us to act in a way that avoids destruction)!

        Now, incidentally, the same exact predictions that the article you cited makes were already made by us (on our blog) more than a YEAR in advance (see here: http://www.geopolitics.us/in-depth/4-technologies-that-will-make-your-job-obsolete/ and here: http://www.geopolitics.us/12-capitalist-myths/). In other words, not only did your little fraudulent claim not impress me in the slightest, it actually affirmed my position. Not only that, but our blog already offers a much better economic paradigm from the current capitalist model (you can see it here: http://www.geopolitics.us/toward-a-flow-economy/).

        Not only does our economic paradigm systamatically resolve EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM you outlined here as a cause of greater suffering, but it would also put humanity on a path to SUSTAINED GROWTH and PROSPERITY (something your theory says is IMPOSSIBLE).

        Certainly, it is only a matter of time until this, or any other similar variant of an economic paradigm, is adopted to replace our current model. This will become a reality once the majority of people become aware of the systemic problems inherent in capitalism. Which means that an economic/societal collapse (which certainly will not bring us thousands of years back (as you had to demonstrate), but only a few decades back) is actually the BEST WAY to PRECIPITATE such transition.

        Here’s a little excerpt from our post:

        “Here then we witness a complete paradigm shift in economic theory, as the flow economy systematically resolves the problems inherent in the capitalist system. Instead of appealing to people’s lowest motives – cynicism, nihilism and greed – the flow economy appeals to people’s highest ideals. Instead of being driven by corporate-induced consumerism it is driven by the need to sustain and promote life. Instead of overcompensating those at the top and disparaging those at the bottom it compensates everyone according to their contribution. Instead of being inherently exploitative it treats everyone equitably. And instead of rewarding marketability over merit it rewards us for making meaningful contributions to the world.
        What is equally important, however, is that the flow economy does not resolve the inherent problems of the capitalist system at the expense of productivity, efficiency, motivation to contribute or economic growth – like other economic systems do (Socialism and Communism). Instead, the flow economy resolves these problems while putting us on a path to sustained growth and prosperity.”

        So you see, our economic model completely resolves the unsustainable use of resources, AND the economic disparity between classes. Thus ending the “recurrent cycle” of rise-and-collapse of civilizations (which is at the heart of your claim). It also resolves 100% of the causes of suffering you outlined above. Now unless you demonstrate that it is IMPOSSIBLE for humans to EVER transition to some variant of the economic paradigm we outlined (ie. that your malevolent creator would somehow magically intervene in this most natural transition process), your theory is as good as dead.

        Oh, and now the icing on the cake: here is what YOU had to say about our economic paradigm: “I really liked this. In this matter you have a great head, a humanist head, and i pretty much agreed with everything you wrote…” (http://www.geopolitics.us/toward-a-flow-economy/#comment-29910)

        So on the one hand you claim that “Suffering is guaranteed, and the Omnimalevolent designer has made it such that suffering is always increased over time.” But on the other hand you “pretty much agree with everything” we wrote when we demonstrate the exact OPPOSITE of what you claim (because the flow economy resolves 100% of the causes of suffering you pointed to, while putting us on a path to sustained growth and prosperity).

        Once again you find yourself in a catch 22. To salvage what’s left of your intellectual integrity – ie. to prove that you did not lie when you said “suffering is always increased over time” – you have to prove that you lied when you said that you “pretty much agreed with everything” we wrote. If I didn’t know you actually enjoy being humiliated like that I’d be more worried.

        Like

      • Says he’s going to leave, but doesn’t. Repeatedly claims the debate is over, yet keeps coming back for more. I’m sure obsessive-compulsive disorders are a minor favourite of the Omnimalevolent Designer.

        Now, whatever cocktail of delusions you have twisting your mind in little knots, they, collectively, amount to one unignorable fact: you are simply incapable of recognising the scope of the malicious program unleashed by our Wicked Creator. Calm those voices in your head and listen carefully. There must always be hope and progression (real or fantasised); the field of available suffering should always be broadened and deepened. An example will help. Consider medicine. Through observation and ingenuity we have learned how to repair broken bodies and treat certain diseases. Resultantly, lifespans have vastly lengthened. Superficially, this appears to be a victory for mankind, but it is, in fact, wonderful news for the Omnimalevolent Creator and reason to celebrate. More bodies doing more things over a longer time (making ever greater, more expensive investments in the future) is an optimisation of resources. Again, simply killing your prey is not the objective. Thrill-kills lack a certain long-term aesthetic beauty. Far, far more sadistic pleasure can be siphoned from one’s prey if one can prolong and deepen that creatures suffering.

        Alas, when you scream hopefully to the air “But we can change!” our Omnimalevolent Creator calmly replies, “Good.” Change and sporadic bursts of development keeps the killing fields fresh and forever plump.

        Now, I suspect you’re frantically hoping I would ignore the rather obvious fact that you completely and utterly failed to address my requests for you to show data that the wealth gap is moving in any direction other than further and faster apart, and evidence that resources are being managed in a sustainable and viable manner. Such denial is the anticipated and predictable behaviour of the severely delusional… As is fantasising about reality. “Our blog already offers a much better economic paradigm from the current capitalist model.” Good for you! It’s a pleasant dream, a fine panacea for the naïve and gullible, a worthy distraction, although the flaw in your reasoning is that you have categorically failed to comprehend that Corporatism killed Capitalism decades ago. You see, your mind is so twisted, so deluded, so confounded and confused by unicorns and rainbows that you don’t even know your enemy.

        Let me spell this out for you: your “plan” is not real. It exists on paper, just like a letter to Santa Claus exists on paper. It cannot be tasted, smelled, touched or heard. It is a fantasy posted on a blog which gets no visitors; a vaporous daydream launched on a kite. It is also just one of countless other pleas (prayers) people far smarter than you, and with far greater influence, have previously proposed and, I’m sure, will continue to propose. And yes, I do appreciate your efforts, but appreciating something doesn’t mean I can’t also recognise its futility. Communism looks great on paper, the early Christians described in Acts were practicing Communists, but human nature will always negate its full realisation. The honest observer, the impartial witness, has but one duty: to open the shutter and let the photons pour in, uncensored, and despite what the voices in your head are telling you, I’m not a publicist for the Omnimalevolent Creator; just His chronicler.

        So allow me to reiterate: simply killing your prey is not a rational objective. Wholesale destruction, while pleasurable to the Owner of All Infernal Names, is not the ideal expression of the His malicious program; a program that, when functioning optimally, means an accretion of suffering over time. The “hope” you desperately cling to is, of course, a vital part of this accretion. What greater pleasure is there, after all, than letting your prey hope (and plan) for an alternative outcome? That said, as we are doing nothing to close the wealth gap, and nothing to stem our veracious consumption of finite resources (the two things the study says guarantees collapse), it appears collapse is inevitable, and if bedlam does unravel then our Wicked Creator will find great amusement in the flood of pain and anguish that will come.

        Water Wars will be a certain favourite, but such unchecked chaos will ultimately mean an undesirable reduction in the overall size and depth of the canvas available to suffer. While quality of suffering is important, it is quantity, you must appreciate, that is King. If, therefore, stop gap measures are put in place and we, as a species, delay another colossal, civilisation-wrecking collapse then the Omnimalevolent Creator will be relieved. Our jail cell will remain dangerously overcrowded (and getting worse by the year), and resources will continue to be exhausted at a faster and faster rate. The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer, true power will continue to be squeezed into fewer and fewer corporate hands, and our last hope, an effective public media, will vanish behind reality TV and politically expedient sound bites designed to divide and distract. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of species are being wiped forever from the face of the planet, the oceans are being bleached, the chemistry of the atmosphere is being altered, and four billion hysterically eager human beings are swiftly moving into an economic bracket resembling a middle class… and these four billion will demand new homes and protein rich diets, refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, chemical cleaning products, cars and tupperware.

        And so again: when you scream like a traumatised child “But we can change!” our Omnimalevolent Creator calmly replies, “Good.”

        Like

      • “Now, whatever cocktail of delusions you have twisting your mind in little knots, they, collectively, amount to one unignorable fact: you are simply incapable of recognising the scope of the malicious program unleashed by our Wicked Creator. Calm those voices in your head and listen carefully. There must always be hope and progression (real or fantasized);”

        Sorry, but you completely FAILED to demonstrate what was absolutely necessary for your theory to have any merit, which is that it is IMPOSSIBLE for us to act in a way that avoids destruction and puts us on a path to prosperity. You also FAILED to demonstrate that it is IMPOSSIBLE (not unlikely, not improbable, but impossible) for an better economic paradigm to substitute for our current one. You see, you have to prove that though we may be hopeful, there is in fact no hope, since suffering MUST ALWAYS increase. But you did not prove that there is in fact no hope. You merely made an unsubstantiated claim to that effect.

        You danced around the idea, but presented nothing but your own sadistic dreams. Nothing more than wishful thinking. To substantiate your fictitious claim you gave example of medicine supposedly only prolonging suffering. A premise I have already THOROUGHLY DEBUNKED (see here http://www.geopolitics.us/proving-god-exists/#comment-29915). Which means that you’re still at square one. You have not demonstrated a thing, and your theory is bunk.

        “Alas, when you scream hopefully to the air “But we can change!” our Omnimalevolent Creator calmly replies, “Good.” Change and sporadic bursts of development keeps the killing fields fresh and forever plump.”

        Again. Completely unsubstantiated wishful thinking from a sadist.

        “Now, I suspect you’re frantically hoping I would ignore the rather obvious fact that you completely and utterly failed to address my requests for you to show data that the wealth gap is moving in any direction other than further and faster apart, and evidence that resources are being managed in a sustainable and viable manner.”

        I demonstrated a far GREATER and more significant point; that the whole “rise-and-collapse of civilizations” model is obsolete, since economic paradigms can change (and do change). You, on the other hand, did not demonstrate the impossibility of this inevitable scenario (though demonstrating this is what your entire theory hinges on!). All you presented was your own sadistic wishful thinking. Unsubstantiated by any evidence but a claim that was already thoroughly debunked. Unfortunately that’s not enough.

        “Our blog already offers a much better economic paradigm from the current capitalist model.” Good for you! It’s a pleasant dream, a fine panacea for the naïve and gullible, a worthy distraction”

        So now I take it you admit that you lied after you already asserted that you pretty much agree with everything the theory stated. Good.

        If you now think this economic paradigm (or ANY OTHER similar one) cannot work I’d like to see the economic reasoning behind this baseless assertion. Obviously you cannot do that since you know nothing about economics. Empty rhetoric just doesn’t cut. It won’t make the facts go away.

        “although the flaw in your reasoning is that you have categorically failed to comprehend that Corporatism killed Capitalism decades ago. You see, your mind is so twisted, so deluded, so confounded and confused by unicorns and rainbows that you don’t even know your enemy.”

        Don’t see how such baseless claim is even remotely relevant to our economic paradigm. Again, you think rhetoric can substitute for substance, but it cannot. You’re simply incapable of addressing the issue, and that’s why you’re dancing around it, trying to divert attention from your incompetence.

        “Let me spell this out for you: your “plan” is not real. It exists on paper, just like a letter to Santa Claus exists on paper. It cannot be tasted, smelled, touched or heard. It is a fantasy posted on a blog which gets no visitors; a vaporous daydream launched on a kite. It is also just one of countless other pleas (prayers) people far smarter than you, and with far greater influence, have previously proposed and, I’m sure, will continue to propose. And yes, I do appreciate your efforts, but appreciating something doesn’t mean I can’t also recognise its futility. Communism looks great on paper, the early Christians described in Acts were practicing Communists, but human nature will always negate its full realization.”

        Again. Nothing but empty rhetoric. You have not presented a SINGLE argument against the economic paradigm, nor have you demonstrated that it is IMPOSSIBLE (not improbable, but impossible!) for this, or any other variant of such economic paradigm to take hold.

        Yet that is precisely what you had to prove – the IMPOSSIBILITY of it taking hold. You have to DEMONSTRATE the futility of our hopes, not just baselessly assert that. The fact that you cannot do it proves beyond doubt that your theory of a malevolent creator is beyond hope. It’s done, and I’m afraid that at this point there is no way to resuscitate it.

        “The honest observer, the impartial witness, has but one duty: to open the shutter and let the photons pour in, uncensored, and despite what the voices in your head are telling you, I’m not a publicist for the Omnimalevolent Creator; just His chronicler.”

        No. You’re just projecting your own sadomasochism onto the outside world.

        “So allow me to reiterate: simply killing your prey is not a rational objective. Wholesale destruction, while pleasurable to the Owner of All Infernal Names, is not the ideal expression of the His malicious program; a program that, when functioning optimally, means an accretion of suffering over time.”

        You can reiterate all you want. But at this point it is nothing more than your own wishful thinking. You miserably failed at demonstrating what you had to demonstrate. You failed to show the IMPOSSIBILITY of having an alternative economic paradigm. All you did was a lot of hand-waving. But that’s not quite the same as a logical proof. Which means that your theory is done.

        Like

      • You are precious. Let me remind you that despite my efforts to discuss the grander model and methods of our Wicked Creator, you chose to be utterly fixated on the study Human and Nature Dynamics: Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies which identified two inescapable causes of civilizational collapse; strong economic stratification and depletion of natural resources. Like the obsessive-compulsive, sleep-deprived person you so clearly are, you invested your entire argument on what I’d considered a fleeting side-note, and yet when I finally relented and asked you to demonstrate that the study’s two primary measures weren’t pointing to collapse you placed your hands over your ears and hollered, “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah…. But we can change. I have a magical Age-of-Aquarius plan, and if anyone will just listen to me….” Priceless!

        So, do tell me, why can’t you produce the necessary data to prove the study’s conclusions wrong? Might it be because such data doesn’t exist? Might it be because the data that does exist tells a rather ghastly story?

        My deluded friend, the Human and Nature Dynamics model (which you were so very keen to focus on a day ago, but now wish it’d just go away) proves cyclic civilizational collapse and gives the reasons. I don’t have to “personally” prove anything, and I especially don’t have to present an analysis on your fantasy economics. History is my proof, and that history is recorded rather thoroughly in the study… How about you try reading it, rather than whining like a tantrum-throwing child.

        Hilariously though, you just don’t get it. Your severe delusional state is inhibiting you from reading the words presented to you. Pay attention: Our Omnimalevolent Creator isn’t overly interested in a total civilizational collapse. The study’s conclusions are, in reality, a cause for minor concern. Should a collapse occur, and everything is pointing to just that, then yes, it’ll be a thrilling decade or two of uncut mayhem, but you must appreciate that it’d also represent a deviation from the grander objective of maximising pain over time. Now granted, the plan is flexible, good plans always are, but the chaos which threatens could well result in a severe reduction in the overall field and depth of potential suffering. Should our species bomb itself back to the Stone Age, it’ll take a millennia (should any of us actually survive) to re-stock the Omnimalevolent Creators breeding ponds with his favourite instruments of pleasure. Whole new human civilisations will have to be reared and prepared through habituation, and that takes a great deal of time.

        To repeat my earlier example: an earthquake striking a clan of 30 (newly minted) nomadic hunter-gatherers produces, at best, only fear and momentary anxiety. The same earthquake striking a city of 30,000 individuals is exceedingly more efficient in delivering evil; destroying buildings, public infrastructure, businesses, and ruining lives that had invested considerable time, money, and emotional capital in a future now obliterated. That same earthquake then striking a city of 30,000,000 is, well, you do the math…. And when you’re done with the calculations you tell me which scenario would best suit the desires of a debased architect.

        Now seriously, leave this alone. Give your neighbours a break from your frantic keyboard banging. Walk away. You’re just not cut out for the truth.

        Like

      • Sorry, but I’ve already proved that the “rise-and-collapse” of civilizations model is obsolete. My proof is based exactly on the “compelling historic data” that the study presented – on the fact that both the use of resources and the stratification of society is 100% depended on the economic structure. And since economic structures are not unalterable, and there is an economic paradigm that resolves ALL the fundamental problems that cause the “rise-and-collapse,” such paradigm will INEVITABLY replace our current one. For your theory to survive, you had to prove that this is IMPOSSIBLE, and such proof is nowhere to be found. Since you miserably failed at that your theory is now dead.

        You continue to cling to the hope that, even though it’s been demonstrated to be obsolete, maybe the “rise-and-collapse” model would still produce one more civilization collapse (which would bring us a few decades back). An utterly meaningless point, given that such collapse would necessarily precipitate the shift to an economic paradigm that would once and for all render the whole “rise-and-collapse” model forever obsolete.

        So to recap, If suffering must ALWAYS increase than a shift in economic paradigms that eliminates the “rise-and-collapse” model must be IMPOSSIBLE.. Yet you utterly FAILED to demonstrate that a shift in economic paradigms is IMPOSSIBLE – which was the life support of your little theory. All the hand-waving in the world cannot substitute for the necessary logical proof you failed to produce. Which means that your theory is dead.

        Your claim about natural disasters (such as earthquakes) killing more and more life has been already THOROUGHLY DEBUNKED as well (see here: http://www.geopolitics.us/proving-god-exists/#comment-29911). Yet you return to the same obsolete claims out of sheer desperation to revive your dead theory. I understand that, the world can be very cruel sometimes to someone as deluded as yourself.

        My condolences for the death of your little theory.

        Like

      • And once again, you are simply failing to see what is before your very eyes. You’re so hysterical, so desperate, so carelessly determined to scream the word (all caps) “impossible,” that you are missing the point that possible or impossible doesn’t matter one bit. It’s a sideshow in the larger game. If collapse happens, as the study concludes it will (a conclusion, I remind you, you are flatly incapable of countering by presenting any tangible, real-world evidence to the contrary), then our Omnimalevolent Creator will rejoice in the anguish. This celebration, though, will be a bitter-sweet occasion, as a worse case socioeconomic calamity will wipe-out a thousand years of careful habituation.

        Here, I’ll write this really, really slowly as it’s so painfully apparent that you cannot read and comprehend what’s written at any natural, adult speed: a total civilizational collapse is not, I repeat, not in the greater interest of the Owner of All Infernal Names. Read that again, if you must. Let it sink in. Is that now clear? Good. Now, a minor collapse would, however, be tremendously more appealing, and if humans could recover quickly from the set-back, then wonderful! What short-term losses in the greater portfolio of pain could be recovered with limited devaluation in the overall marketplace of suffering.

        I must say though, you are hopelessly charming with your fluffy dreams and carefully drawn plans which exist only in your head. Just keep telling yourself what you want to hear, and be sure to keep tweaking your little Age of Aquarius manifesto. Our Omnimalevolent Creator loves it when His playthings hope for a better future. In fact, He appreciates such efforts so much that He even endorses some promising plans and permits them to be implemented across His creation. The marketplace of pain has to be kept vibrant, afresh, expanding, and naïvely hopeful, after all.

        Like

      • Once again, my condolences on the death of your theory. I see that you’re now in the denial stage of your grieving, and that is perfectly understandable. Eventually you will get to the stage of acceptance. But until then, in case you have any doubt, let me make this clear: your theory is dead. It is no more. It has ceased to be. It is an ex-theory.

        Now don’t think that it was I who killed your theory. That is simply not the case. Like all poorly thought out ideas, your sociopathic fantasy came into the world stillborn. Its predictions only applied to the void that is between your two ears. All that was left for me to do was to pronounce it dead at the scene.

        Your theory predicted that suffering must ALWAYS increase over time. Which means that, by definition, it must be impossible (not unlikely, not improbable, but impossible!) for suffering NOT to always increase over time. And since this must be impossible, then there cannot be true hope for that which is impossible – only false hope.

        Since this is what your theory stated, you had to be able to prove this. There was simply no skirting around this issue for you. If no proof exists, your theory is deceased.

        Now, to support your fraudulent claim (to show that suffering must always increase), you cited an article which showed “compelling historical data” that a “rise-and-collapse of civilizations” is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history. The underlying cause, which explains 100% of the data, is the ECONOMIC (capitalist) structure of society. It is based on how society is structured and how resources are used.

        However, as I’ve demonstrated, there IS an economic paradigm that resolves ALL the underlying causes of the rise-and-collapse cycle. Thus PERMANENTLY putting civilization on a path to sustain growth and prosperity. In fact, this economic paradigm also resolves 100% (ONE. HUNDRED. PERCENT.) of the examples you cited as representing increase in suffering over time. Thus PERMANENTLY eliminating all those as well. You had to be able to prove that it is impossible (not unlikely, not improbable, but impossible!) for this OR ANY OTHER(!) variant of such economic paradigm to EVER(!) take hold. Yet, you utterly failed at doing that. Now there is no one for you to blame but yourself.

        So let me make this clear once more: there was absolutely no skirting around this issue for you. You had to prove why this is impossible. Empty rhetoric is no substitute for a proof. Hysterical hand-waving is no substitute for a proof. Special pleading is no substitute. Wishful thinking is no substitute. Repeating the same old debunked claims over and over is no substitute. Wishing the facts go away (ie. saying: “possible or impossible doesn’t matter one bit”) is no substitute. ONLY presenting a well-reasoned logical argument for why this was impossible could have saved your little theory. And yet, you failed at providing this proof. Spectacularly, I might add. You also managed to lose in the process whatever was left of your self-respect by showing that you lied when you said that you practically agreed with everything our economic paradigm stated. So once again: if no proof exists, your theory is deceased. My condolences.

        Like

      • I see you favour the same methods practiced by the Tea Party Conservatives in the US: repeat nonsense long enough and eventually you’ll convince yourself of its validity.

        “However, as I’ve demonstrated, there IS an economic paradigm that resolves ALL the underlying causes of the rise-and-collapse cycle”

        LOL! Are you referring to your Rainbow and Unicorns, Age of Aquarius thought exercise? Cute.

        Now do tell me, why do you keep avoiding my requests for “real-world” data which disputes the two inescapable causes of civilizational collapse: strong economic stratification and depletion of natural resources? While you’re at it, perhaps you could also provide hard data for how we, as a species, are curtailing our exponential population growth… you know, that upwards curve which almost perfectly mirrors the explosive population blooms of unsuccessful parasites.

        Like

      • Sorry, but excuses and diversions are also no substitute for the proof you must provide.

        “Now do tell me, why do you keep avoiding my requests for “real-world” data which disputes the two inescapable causes of civilizational collapse: strong economic stratification and depletion of natural resources?”

        Because it’s a waste of my time. And it won’t help your case one bit. You have to demonstrate the impossibility(!) of permanently eliminating the rise-and-collapse cycle. Which, as I’ve already demonstrated will inevitably happen. Soon.

        “While you’re at it, perhaps you could also provide hard data for how we, as a species, are curtailing our exponential population growth… you know, that upwards curve which almost perfectly mirrors the explosive population blooms of unsuccessful parasites.”

        Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTznEIZRkLg

        So again: if no proof exists, your theory is deceased.

        Like

      • Cute. A TED Talk where Hans Rosling details the things that “should” be done to stem our out-of-control population bloom… Namely, raising the living standards of the poorest. Let’s see, how about you now do the math of moving six or seven billion people into a new middle class in the next 100 years, and how that’ll affect global resource consumption. Be sure to get back to me with your results, OK.

        So, let me get this straight: It’s a “waste of your time” to present real world data which contradicts the current state of play of the two inescapable causes of civilizational collapse: strong economic stratification and depletion of natural resources. LOL! That’s thoroughly precious. You can evade, neglect, avoid and deny reality all you like, but do try and understand that rational adults, mature human beings who’re in control of their faculties and sanity do their best to live within the boundaries of reality…. That is to say, they inhabit the real world, where facts and hard data matter.

        Like

      • Nice try, but you cannot escape the inescapable. No proof means no theory.

        It looks like, for some inexplicable reason, you’re still under the delusion that your little sociopathic fantasy reflected something in reality. It didn’t.

        When a person is so deeply self-deluded perhaps there’s really no alternative but to seek professional help. But let’s see what I can do to disabuse you of your nightmare.

        You see, if your theory predicted that suffering sometimes increases and at other times decreases then there would be no problem. If you added that decrease in suffering is in direct proportion to our understanding of the laws that govern the world and the laws that govern life, and our adherence to these laws, then your theory would have been golden.

        But unfortunately that is not what your theory stated. Your theory stated that suffering is always increased over time – which means that this trend is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world. And so, you had to demonstrate that this is indeed the case.

        And where did you demonstrate this? Nowhere. Such proof is nowhere to be found. Or, to quote you, your proof “is invisible and inaudible. It gives off no odour and has no perceptible taste. It cannot be detected with any instrument and no measurement of any natural phenomena has ever indicated its presence.”

        All your hysterical attempts to divert attention, all your excuses, all your empty rhetoric aimed at misleading and mischaracterizing the debate cannot substitute for the proof that increase in suffering is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world. Since such proof does not exist, your theory is deceased.

        All the carefully curated examples you so yearn to present as claims in support of your theory are nothing of that sort. In fact, all the claims you’ve made that supposedly support your theory are already one hundred percent explained and predicted within the framework of the market economy. Yes, the market economy is ineffective at solving big problems; population growth, climate change, distribution of resources, social justice, and so on and so on (we’ve already demonstrated this here: http://www.geopolitics.us/solving-big-problems/), therefore these can lead to increase in suffering. But how does that fact help you in any way to substantiate your claim that this is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world? For that to be the case our current economic paradigm MUST be permanent and unalterable. But of course it isn’t.

        And of course, as I’ve already demonstrated, there is an economic paradigm that resolves 100% of the issues you’ve raised, and all the underlying causes for our current challenges. Thus, this or any other similar paradigm will PERMANENTLY eliminate ALL the claims you’ve made that are supposed to be the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world. Where is your proof that adopting ANY such paradigm is impossible? Nowhere. Yet, you had to prove just that.

        As much as you’d like to limit the discussion to what might happen tomorrow, in ten years, or in 25 years – ALL of which, without exception, is already perfectly explained by the current capitalistic economic paradigm (a point which you obviously cannot, and did not, challenge), that says nothing about what will happen 100, 500, 1000, or 10,000 years from now. Where is your proof that the trends you pointed to will continue (even though the underlying causes for these can easily be eliminated with a better economic paradigm). You had to prove that the trend of increased suffering must continue indefinitely. So where did you prove this? Nowhere. No proof means no theory.

        Like

      • “No proof”? LOL! I’ve been bombarding you with real world proof and patently easy to understand working examples since you lost your mind over four months ago. And now you’re just all over the shop; your thoughts wondering from one imperfect screed to the next, babbling incoherently like a madman rocking back and forth in foetus position, repeating the same nonsensical mantra over and over again. Funny how you now don’t want to talk about the two inescapable causes of civilizational collapse: strong economic stratification and depletion of natural resources. Funny how you can’t produce any contradictory real world data that paints some alternative outcome. Funny how you also evaded showing how moving six or seven billion people into a middle class in the next 100 years will result in better, more sustainable resource management.

        Again, ignoring reality doesn’t make it go away.

        And true to form, your deluded state of mind has once again crippled you from actually understanding the nature and genius of the malicious program underwriting our Omnimalevolent Creators greater works. Time after time you have refused to acknowledge that which is being said to you. Time after time you have seen only that which you have wanted to see and have answered that which was never asked. Such is the behaviour of an insane person; a broken mind living inside a fantasy world, slaying imaginary dragons, and always winning the girl. [all caps, exclamation mark]

        And so, here it is again: total civilizational collapse is not in our Omnimalevolent Creators best interest. Does the clever trader wish for a complete market collapse? Of course, there is great opportunity when markets do collapse, the astute investor can always capitalise on distressed stocks, but overall, the mindful broker’s best interests are served by a general ballooning of the greater marketplace over time. Isolated setbacks, bankruptcies, and short-term profit taking will see the market fluctuate, but if the general trend is up, then all is well in the world. More bodies, doing more things, over a longer time means the portfolio of potential pain and suffering is not only increasing, but diversifying.

        Now listen carefully: the fantasy argument going on inside you already far too noisy head refuses to acknowledge the words “general trend.” You’re so desperate to scream about total market collapse that you are simply imagining that that is what we’re talking about. We’re not. I’ve never said it because as an objective it contradicts our Omnimalevolent Creators malicious program.

        And so, for the third time, here is an easy to understand example of how the “general trend” looks in the real world: an earthquake striking a clan of 30 nomadic hunter-gatherers produces, at best, only fear and momentary anxiety. The same earthquake striking a city of 30,000 urbanised individuals is exceedingly more efficient in delivering evil; killing many but, more importantly, destroying buildings, public infrastructure, businesses, and ruining lives that had invested considerable time, money, and emotional capital in a future now obliterated. That same earthquake then striking a city of 30,000,000 is, well, you do the math…. And when you’re done with the calculations you tell me which scenario would best suit the desires of a debased architect.

        Like

      • At this point you’re beyond desperate, John. And clearly only professional help will do. But as I’ve explained to you too many times already, no proof means no theory. There is no escaping this.

        It looks like now you’re just playing for time. You think you can con your way out of this but you cannot. All your misdirections and diversions are completely transparent. So your new scam is SAYING that you’ve already provided the proof? How adorable. Where is it then? Please present it in verbal form. Sorry, but saying that you provided a proof is also no substitute for a proof.

        What, your “earthquake argument” is your proof?! Well then you admit that you have no proof then. Good. Your earthquake argument has already been thoroughly debunked – months ago. And yet, you keep returning to it again and again. Perhaps in the hope that no one would notice your fraud. Sorry, that’s just not going to happen. Your fraud has long been exposed.

        Like

      • Tell me, can you tell if those voices in your head are you own, or do you really hear different individuals speaking; some chastising you for never addressing the arguments as presented with real world data, while others cheer the hallucinations on, forever whispering, “you’re not insane, you’re not insane, you’re not insane, oh no… everyone else is”?

        But by all means, if you can quiet those voices in your head for a moment, please do refresh my obviously shaky memory: how did you debunk the earthquake example, and how, precisely, did you do it “months ago” when I first only penned it on the 7th of June, five days ago?

        Like

      • The sense of panic in your words is palpable, but your inability to produce a proof says it all.

        You still don’t get it, do ya? Everyone is familiar with the “real world data” you presented. Population growth, climate change, social stratification, resource misuse, economic collapse, and so on. With all of it. And all 100% of this “real world data” is already perfectly explained in the context of the market economy. There is nothing new here.

        So you can continue screaming at the top of your lungs “real world data,” but please do tell me, how does the “real world data” you presented help in any way to substantiate your claim that increase in suffering is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world? How does it prove that the same trend will continue indefinitely? There is no logical connection between the two. Such link only exists in your mind – in your sociopathic fantasies.

        So do forgive me if I’m not impressed by your desperate, hysterical attempts to divert attention from your colossal failure to prove this connection. Your fraud has already been exposed. No proof means no theory.

        Like

      • It’s getting harder and harder to even know what you’re babbling on about. What precisely does “And all 100% of this ‘real world data’ is already perfectly explained in the context of the market economy” even mean? Are you expressing surprise that the real world generates streams of real data? Now , you see, you’ve also completely lost me here as I’m almost certain it was me asking you to present evidence which contradicted the nasty-ugly picture of the current state of play of the two inescapable causes of civilizational collapse: strong economic stratification and depletion of natural resources. Be sure to correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I could gather, the extent of your evasive (data-less) argument seemed to rest on “But JZ, you can’t predict the future” [all caps, exclamation mark/s].

        Now, while true, I cannot predict the future, I can draw fairly accurate assumptions on what the near future will hold based on a litany of hard evidence collected in the present and collated from the past. This is called pattern-mapping, and it’s through this socioeconomic cartographic art that an impartial observer can go about identifying the malicious program unleashed by our Omnimalevolent Creator.

        Interestingly, but not at all surprisingly, you seem to have completely evaded addressing the earthquake example which you allege to have debunked months before I even invented it. That’s a shame. I was truly looking forward to your explanation for this clearly magical happening. Did the voices tell you to avoid it? Do they caution you when they sense you’re backing yourself into a corner? Now you also failed to acknowledge the sturdiness of the astute investor analogy. Did that one utterly confound you, too?

        Like

      • I’ll answer all of your questions (aka diversion tactics) once you answer this simple question:

        How does the “real world data” you presented help in any way to substantiate your claim that increase in suffering is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world? (Which is what your theory predicted – ie. that suffering ALWAYS increases over time)

        Or should I understand that your claim that you cannot predict the future (but you can “draw fairly accurate assumptions on what the near future will hold based on a litany of hard evidence collected in the present and collated from the past”) is nothing but a silent admission that you cannot substantiate your claim that suffering ALWAYS increases over time? After all, such sweeping assertions, such extraordinary claims, must be substantiated with extraordinary evidence.

        You argument right now amounts to saying that cellphones are impossible because you have collected “real world data” based on “a litany of hard evidence” from the past 13 billion years that shows that cellphones did not exist, and therefore the trend shows that the existence of cellphones is impossible.

        Like

      • Now seriously, what are you babbling on about now? I think you have at least ten (although probably closer to twenty) disorganised conversations raging inside that confused head of yours, and none of them are actually what’s going on here. I didn’t ask any questions; I gave you working examples of our Omnimalevolent Creators malicious program in action. As a side matter, you went merrily driving off into the Human and Nature Dynamics model, which, as it turns out, you appear to have seriously regretted as you couldn’t present a single shred of evidence which contradicted the study’s conclusions. But even if you could, which you couldn’t, you proved yourself time after time simply incapable of understanding that total civilizational collapse is not in our Omnimalevolent Creators best interests. To example this I presented you with the astute investor analogy… which you have also ignored.

        Now, what I did do was draw attention to your evasion of actually addressing these examples in any way even resembling something substantial; choosing instead to mutter and mumble on about a basket of staggeringly naïve, but otherwise hopeful Age of Aquarius dreams you have where unicorns surf rainbows, corporations have our best interests at heart, and earth’s finite resources are managed by a combination of Pollyanna and Fraulien Maria.

        Now, Case in point: out of the blue you claimed to have debunked my earthquake example months before I even penned it. Right off the bat, this is fantastic news as it means you have uncovered some way of physically tunnelling through time. But before we get to those wonders, I would be tremendously interested in having my memory refreshed, as I can’t recall you ever presenting any counter argument to that particular example which lays out, quite convincingly I believe, the process of accretion by which the wicked architect (the designer of this world) enjoys greater and greater suffering over time. Again, this is called pattern-mapping which, when used correctly, can assist any impartial observer to unravel the intent underwriting our reality. The rhetorical question posed here was: “when you’re done with the calculations (an earthquake striking, alternatively, 30 hunter gatherers, 30,000 urbanites, or 30,000,000 city dwellers) you tell me which scenario would best suit the desires of a debased architect.”

        Like

      • “you went merrily driving off into the Human and Nature Dynamics model, which, as it turns out, you appear to have seriously regretted as you couldn’t present a single shred of evidence which contradicted the study’s conclusions…
        ..Now, what I did do was draw attention to your evasion of actually addressing these examples in any way even resembling something substantial;”

        If there is one thing I learned from debating you, it is that you’re a master at wasting other people’s time. You wanted me to produce evidence against an argument that was going nowhere, while I saw no reason to do so. I already demonstrated that your argument did not prove what you had to prove, but you conveniently ignored this and plowed on with your nonsense.

        So let’s try this one more time. Read this very slowly if you need to. Maybe read it three or four times. Use a dictionary if necessary:

        How does the “real world data” (or the Human and Nature Dynamics model) you presented help in any way to substantiate your claim that increase in suffering is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world? (Which is what your theory predicted – ie. that suffering ALWAYS increases over time)

        Unless you can explain how this is even remotely relevant to demonstrating what you had to demonstrate, why should I waste my time addressing this argument.

        Once you finally answer that question, which so far you’ve done everything possible to evade (though this is absolutely vital for your theory – while the argument you challenged me to address is entirely trivial for mine), I’ll gladly copy&paste my response from months ago which already thoroughly debunked your “earthquake theorem.” I’ll even expand on my response to your childish fantasy, if you wish.

        Like

      • And there you go again, not actually grasping what’s being discussed. First up, you brought up the Human and Nature Dynamics model in this thread, not me. Only you can therefore explain why, and perhaps present data which contradicts its conclusions. But you see, that doesn’t even matter, and this is where you’re so far off the page it’s seriously not funny… just increasingly tiresome, and with that in mind, I’ll simply repeat what’s already been said:

        total civilizational collapse is not in our Omnimalevolent Creators best interest. Does the clever trader wish for a complete market collapse? Of course, there is great opportunity when markets do collapse, the astute investor can always capitalise on momentarily distressed stocks, but overall, the mindful broker’s best interests are served by a general ballooning of the greater marketplace over time. Isolated setbacks, bankruptcies, and short-term profit taking will see the market fluctuate, but if the general trend is up, then all is well in the world. More bodies, doing more things, over a longer time means the portfolio of potential pain and suffering is not only increasing, but diversifying.

        Now you see, you’re so fixated on some juvenile idea that there cannot be a single deviation in the overall “general trend” that you are simply failing to understand the greater narrative. I’m suspecting this is because you have serious problems with reading and comprehension, so maybe, just maybe, this short video showing the human population bloom might give you a visual reference for the overall (relatively uninterrupted) ballooning of the marketplace of suffering. [each dot represents a million people].

        Like

      • Let me help you with that, as you’re clearly mortified at even thinking about putting these words in print:

        The “real world data” and the “Human and Nature Dynamics model” you presented does NOT – in any way, shape, or form; directly or indirectly – help you to substantiate your claim that increase in suffering is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world. (Which is what your theory predicted – ie. that suffering ALWAYS increases over time).

        As for this:
        “total civilizational collapse is not in our Omnimalevolent Creators best interest. Does the clever trader wish for a complete market collapse? Of course, there is great opportunity when markets do collapse, the astute investor can always capitalise on momentarily distressed stocks, but overall, the mindful broker’s best interests are served by a general ballooning of the greater marketplace over time. Isolated setbacks, bankruptcies, and short-term profit taking will see the market fluctuate, but if the general trend is up, then all is well in the world. More bodies, doing more things, over a longer time means the portfolio of potential pain and suffering is not only increasing, but diversifying.”

        Here you’ve just undone your own theory. You see, “POTENTIAL” pain and suffering is meaningless. When you play the lottery you’re a “potential” multi-millionaire. But guess what, no one is going to give you the keys to a brand new Ferrari if you present them with your “potential winning ticket.” And then you say: “if the general trend is up, then all is well in the world.”

        Sorry, but if “the general trend is up” then this is the exact opposite of what you had to demonstrate. If only “potential” (aka unrealized) “pain and suffering” is increasing, then this too is the exact opposite of what you had to demonstrate. Only real suffering counts – And THAT, you certainly cannot demonstrate. Thanks for playing though.

        Like

      • So, let me get this straight: you can’t actually see the (relatively) uninterrupted, increasingly complex pattern in that short video?

        Interesting….

        So I guess you can’t therefore comprehend this simple truism: More bodies, doing more things, over a longer time means the portfolio of potential pain and suffering is not only increasing, but diversifying.

        Doubly interesting…

        Like

      • As for your silly earthquake example – this is clearly the product of a linear mind, incapable of processing more than one thought at a time (and apparently even one thought is sometimes too overwhelming for your little brain). So let’s debunk this argument once more (for the fourth time, since you so conveniently ignored my previous three responses):

        Here’s your little toy:

        “when you’re done with the calculations (an earthquake striking, alternatively, 30 hunter gatherers, 30,000 urbanites, or 30,000,000 city dwellers) you tell me which scenario would best suit the desires of a debased architect.”

        Now, remember, you have to demonstrate that suffering ALWAYS increases over time. Not just next year, but also 100 years from now, and 500 years from now. Does your little booboo do that? Nope. And here is why:

        Since your little brain is only capable of entertaining one idea at a time, you failed to realize that population growth is not the only factor that changes over time (in fact, there’s no evidence that a population must ALWAYS grow over time, which your argument implies. The population of China, for example, is expected to decrease to below a billion people by the end of the century). Other things that change is technology, and societal organization structures.

        Because of these confounding factors (and, by the way, you should really look this concept up sometime, maybe you won’t make more kindergarten-level arguments like your current one), you cannot establish any direct correlation between size of population and amount of suffering due to events such as earthquakes. For example, the earthquake that hit Chili a few months after an earthquake hit Haiti was 500 times(!!) stronger. Yet, there were only about 520 killed in Chili and over 150,000 killed in Haiti. Why? Well, it has a lot to do with something called “earthquake resistant engineering.”

        But that’s just the obvious refutation any ten-year-old can give you. Here is where this gets interesting..

        This is what I said three months ago, when you first raised the issue of natural disasters:

        Let’s look at “earthquakes, floods, cyclones, tornadoes, droughts, famines and disease.” Well, is any one of these a supernatural event? No. Do they operate by different laws than the laws that govern the world? No. So all these “acts of God” (or acts of Nature) are entirely comprehensible to us. We can understand the underlying conditions, predict their occurrence, and – with ever greater knowledge and understanding of the laws that govern the world – we can not only effectively eliminate their harmful effects on life, but harness these natural occurrences to our own purpose.

        Just consider this fact – the energy released in a day by the average hurricane is about the same as 1/10 of all the energy consumed by humanity in a year. So earthquakes, floods, meteorite strikes etc. are destructive to us in the present (and are not used as sources of energy, as they could be) because humanity has not [yet] mobilized itself to solve these problems (through knowledge and understanding, how else).

        We already have the proven technology for structures to withstand earthquakes. We also already have the technology to generate electricity from vibrations (eg. http://vimeo.com/2503037). You put these together in cities and what do you get? Not only do earthquakes no longer cause any perceptible damage (and thus ZERO increase in suffering), but they generate lots and lots of energy!

        So you see, not only is there no guarantee that suffering will increase over time (which is what you once again failed to demonstrate), but suffering can demonstrably diminish over time (with better knowledge and understanding of the laws that govern the world).

        Once more human ingenuity can transform “potential suffering” into real (aka realized) benefits for humanity. And once again your sociopathic fantasies are shattered.

        Like

      • Precious. Your arguments are so fixated on the miniscule you can’t see the grander picture. I’m used to this mistake, but again, its growing tremendously tiresome. Who cares about the size of earthquakes? Did I say anything at all about magnitudes, or location of the strikes? The example was simply highlighting the increasing potential of suffering caused by any old earthquake, or other natural disaster, striking ever-expanding human population centres. This is historically accurate, as you are fully aware, and reason why you simply refuse to answer the rhetorical question presented to you: which scenario best suits the Wicked Architects larger objectives; an earthquake striking 30 hunter gathers, 30,000 primitive urbanites, or 30,000,000 fixed, modern, dependent city dwellers?

        Here, as it’s clearly so difficult, I’ll answer the question for you: 30,000,000. Thirty-million individual lives filled with hopes and dreams, ambitions and loves; lives ripe for the delivery of complex and multifaceted forms of suffering, from grazed knees to the devastating anguish of a father losing his entire young family.

        Now, your counter-argument rests entirely on future promises of disaster prevention technology. Great! Is anyone claiming such preventative efforts are denied? As the Omnimalevolent Creator wishes there to be more bodies, doing more things, over longer times these efforts are not only welcomed, but encouraged. Preventing wide-scale destruction and massive population extinctions is desirable. How else, my naïve friend, would the Owner of All Infernal Names maximize his enjoyment? How else, my naïve friend, would the Owner of All Infernal Names celebrate the population bloom graphically demonstrated in the video? If our evil creator wished to maximize death alone he would never have allowed medicine to develop and flourish, choosing instead to let virulent diseases ravish forever tiny populations. If our evil creator wished to maximize death alone he would never have permitted agricultural technology and animal husbandry. If our evil creator wished to maximize death alone he would never have approved of the humble keel which vastly increased both the life expectancy of sailors and the scope of navigational possibilities… two things which enabled human settlements to spring up in once inaccessible geographic locations.

        More bodies, doing more things, over longer times.

        To repeat: suffering is not merely violence and death. Its greatest expression is in dashed hopes, enduring pain and anguish, and prolonged anxiety. A human being dying at age 35 cannot, by and large, produce the same quantity, quality and depth of suffering generated through the extended life of a human being dying at age 80 or 90. Thirty years of crippling arthritis and immobility is more valuable to the wicked designer than a single terrified soldier catching a bullet in the throat. Such brutality produces only a momentary thrill which, while pleasurable, pales to protracted torment.

        So you see, our Omnimalevolent Creator wishes for humans (his favourite instruments of pleasure) to continually invent new measures which mean they live longer, superficially safer lives, because that, and that alone, ensures a ballooning and diversification of the overall marketplace of pain.

        More bodies, doing more things, over longer times.

        Like

      • “So I guess you can’t therefore comprehend this simple truism: More bodies, doing more things, over a longer time means the portfolio of potential pain and suffering is not only increasing, but diversifying.

        Doubly interesting…”

        I understand it perfectly. And, as I’ve already pointed out, that is NOT what you had to demonstrate. Remember, you said this: “Suffering is guaranteed, and the Omnimalevolent designer has made it such that suffering is always increased over time.”

        POTENTIAL pain and suffering is meaningless. That is not what your theory predicted. You have to demonstrate that REAL suffering is increased. Always increased, in fact. So please show me where you demonstrate that.

        Like

      • In case you didn’t understand the analogy, read this very very slowly, several times, if necessary:

        “Here you’ve just undone your own theory. You see, “POTENTIAL” pain and suffering is meaningless. When you play the lottery you’re a “potential” multi-millionaire. But guess what, no one is going to give you the keys to a brand new Ferrari if you present them with your “potential winning ticket.””

        Like

      • “Precious. Your arguments are so fixated on the miniscule you can’t see the grander picture. I’m used to this mistake, but again, its growing tremendously tiresome. Who cares about the size of earthquakes? Did I say anything at all about magnitudes, or location of the strikes?”

        As I’ve already demonstrated (four times already), over time not only will technology be able to effectively eliminate any damage done by earthquakes, but earthquakes would be joyous events that everyone hopes and waits for, as they’d be a fantastic source of renewable energy. The bigger the population center, the more free renewable energy. Which means that the REAL suffering from earthquakes will be nonexistent (much like the predictions of your theory) – ZERO suffering and much much hope and joy, which would reach its climax as the next earthquakes generates more free energy for cities and entire states. ZERO dashed hopes, ZERO pain, and ZERO anguish. The exact opposite of what you have to demonstrate.

        But as expected, you conveniently ignored this argument, since you have no answer to it. Instead, you keep repeating the same mantra, as if you’re possessed (“More bodies, doing more things, over longer times.”). And then once more you return to the same old debunked arguments. Let’s see how you tackle this one first.

        “The example was simply highlighting the increasing potential of suffering caused by any old earthquake, or other natural disaster, striking ever-expanding human population centers. This is historically accurate, as you are fully aware,”

        I see that you conveniently added the words “or other natural disaster,” since you know perfectly well that your argument about earthquakes has been utterly demolished. You do NOT have historically accurate data which shows a linear relationship population size and suffering caused by earthquakes. That’s because technology has dramatically reduced the damages done by earthquakes to populations, especially in developed countries. And you have no data to show otherwise.

        “and reason why you simply refuse to answer the rhetorical question presented to you: which scenario best suits the Wicked Architects larger objectives; an earthquake striking 30 hunter gathers, 30,000 primitive urbanites, or 30,000,000 fixed, modern, dependent city dwellers?”

        I did answer the question, you just didn’t like my answer. The answer is that the trend you had to demonstrate (of suffering always increasing over time) cannot be substantiated by your example of earthquakes.

        “Here, as it’s clearly so difficult, I’ll answer the question for you: 30,000,000. Thirty-million individual lives filled with hopes and dreams, ambitions and loves; lives ripe for the delivery of complex and multifaceted forms of suffering, from grazed knees to the devastating anguish of a father losing his entire young family.”

        You’re so eager to answer your own questions, while conveniently ignoring my answers. But as I’ve already demonstrated, this little thought experiment of your does not demonstrate what you had to demonstrate – that suffering always increases over time.

        “So you see, our Omnimalevolent Creator wishes for humans (his favourite instruments of pleasure) to continually invent new measures which mean they live longer, superficially safer lives, because that, and that alone, ensures a ballooning and diversification of the overall marketplace of pain.”

        I see that you’ve conveniently removed the word “potential” from your argument. How predictable. How beyond desperate you are. As if by removing that word your argument magically became more sound. It didn’t. Since you cannot demonstrate that “More bodies, doing more things, over longer times” necessarily means that suffering must increase. It simply doesn’t.

        So let’s summarize for now your latest FAILED attempts to substantiate your claim that increase in suffering is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world.

        – Your “Human and Nature Dynamics model” utterly failed at demonstrating this.
        – Your “earthquake and population size” example utterly failed at demonstrating this.
        – Your “Astute investor” example utterly failed at demonstrating that.
        – Your “More bodies, doing more things, over longer times” utterly failed at demonstrating that
        None of these arguments demonstrate what you had to demonstrate – that increase in suffering is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world.

        So what do you do when you exhaust all fresh arguments? You go back to the arguments that I’ve already thoroughly debunked months ago. Namely, your “older age = more suffering” argument. Sorry, but “your older age = more suffering” argument has already been debunked here: http://www.geopolitics.us/proving-god-exists/#comment-29915.

        But of course, you don’t care. You know that you’ve already lost a long time ago. At this point your only goal is simply to waste as much of my time as possible.

        Like

      • You see, there’s that reading and comprehension problem surfacing again. Try looking, you’ll see the word “potential;” meaning what is available. You also, once again, simply failed to grasp the nature of the malicious program. You’re so fixated (there’s that word again) on convincing yourself that I’ve presented argument X, when in fact I’ve presented argument Y, that you’re missing the entire conversation. This is a sign, psychiatrists would duly note, of your delusions taking over complete control of your thinking. In your very noisy mind, I’ve laid out some fixed, rigid program, and if you can just identify one area that you think contradicts this imagined proclamation then you’ve won something. And so again, I’m forced to repeat what’s already been written:

        “Isolated setbacks, bankruptcies, and short-term profit taking will see the market fluctuate, but if the general trend is up, then all is well in the world.”

        That’s the truth your delusional mind doesn’t want you to acknowledge, but I’m afraid to say, there it is, in black and white. Market fluctuations; exampled in the real world through major negative events like plagues, tsunamis, wars, economic and societal collapses, and minor, but equally devastating events like family tragedies, sickness, and even love lost. Now pay attention, the fluctuations also include positive leaps forward in the methods of living. It’s always been there… you just never wanted to recognise what was actually written. Similarly, it seems the voices in your head were really hollering when your eyes hit this line:

        So you see, our Omnimalevolent Creator wishes for humans (his favourite instruments of pleasure) to continually invent new measures which mean they live longer, superficially safer lives, because that, and that alone, ensures a ballooning and diversification of the overall marketplace of pain.

        Now, I have to say, I particularly loved this line: but earthquakes would be joyous events that everyone hopes and waits for. Rainbow surfing unicorn’s aside, did you perhaps miss the part where I wrote, “our Omnimalevolent Creator wishes for humans to continually invent new measures which mean they live longer, superficially safer lives”? Of course you missed it, those mischievous voices made sure you missed it, but I’ve repeated that twice here already, so maybe, just maybe, it’ll sink in this time…

        What has become painfully clear is that you don’t even know what you’re arguing for, or against. You’ve tied yourself up in so many knots that you’re boxing imaginary arguments and fighting fictional wars.

        Like

      • “You’re so fixated (there’s that word again) on convincing yourself that I’ve presented argument X, when in fact I’ve presented argument Y, that you’re missing the entire conversation.”

        It looks like there is one sentence that haunts you, and from which you’re trying to escape, and that sentence is what your sociopathic fantasy predicted: “Suffering is guaranteed, and the Omnimalevolent designer has made it such that suffering is always increased over time.”

        I know you’re kicking yourself in the butt for putting this indefensible claim for the world to see, but there it is, and you can no longer go back on it. In case your little mind does not comprehend what you actually wrote there (it is perfectly understandable, because chances are you just put a few words together on paper that you had no idea what they mean), let me define some key terms there:

        “Always” means “at all times; on all occasions; for all future time; forever”

        “Increase” means “become or make greater in size, amount, intensity, or degree”

        So as I said, your arguments have to substantiate your claim that increase in suffering is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world.

        Now the problem was not that you did not yell your argument loudly enough, or put it in bold letters. The problem is that your argument does not substantiate your claim that increase in suffering is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world. That’s the sad reality you simply refuse to accept (but as I said, your theory died a long time ago, you’re just in denial of this fact).

        You say: “Isolated setbacks, bankruptcies, and short-term profit taking will see the market fluctuate, but if the general trend is up, then all is well in the world.”

        Now how does this substantiate your claim? Just because the “market” becomes larger (ie. there is more flourishing of life), you simply cannot demonstrate that the fluctuations will become greater (an argument that is indispensable for your theory). How can you guarantee it? You simply cannot. You can pretend like this is implicit in the “structure of the market” but you cannot demonstrate that. Yet, if the fluctuations don’t increase then your argument is meaningless. Since it doesn’t demonstrate that suffering is increasing. Then all your have is: “if the general trend is up, then all is well in the world” – which is the exact opposite of what you had to demonstrate.

        In fact, there is every reason to expect the fluctuations to decrease. (one example of such “fluctuation” is effect of earthquakes on urban areas. As I’ve demonstrated, not only this “fluctuation” will eventually have no negative impact on the “market” but it would work to REDUCE other fluctuations).

        “Market fluctuations; exampled in the real world through major events like plagues, tsunamis, wars, economic and societal collapses, and minor, but equally devastating events like family tragedies, sickness, and even love lost. It’s always been there… you just never wanted to recognise what was actually written.”

        As I’ve already demonstrated, you cannot show that such fluctuations will have an increased effect on suffering over time (which is what you must show). And, in fact, there is every reason to believe that, with ever greater knowledge of the laws that govern the world, the trend of suffering due to these “fluctuations” will decrease, to the point where the negative effects are entirely eliminated (as I’ve already demonstrated how this can be done in the case of earthquakes). Not only that, but humanity will harness the energy released from natural events like hurricanes and earthquakes to generate free renewable energy.

        But the main point is this: you simply cannot demonstrate that suffering must increase over time due to these “market fluctuations.” Your argument is entirely faith-based. You just HOPE that these will lead to greater suffering over time, but you cannot substantiate the claim that this must happen.

        So you see, our Omnimalevolent Creator wishes for humans (his favourite instruments of pleasure) to continually invent new measures which mean they live longer, superficially safer lives, because that, and that alone, ensures a ballooning and diversification of the overall marketplace of pain.

        As I’ve already said. You initially claimed that “potential” pain and suffering will increase. You see, THAT argument you could actually DEFEND (although, as I already pointed out, that was also a meaningless argument, since “potential” pain and suffering doesn’t mean anything).

        But now you quietly removed the word “potential” and you think that your argument is better. But it isn’t. Because now your argument is simply INDEFENSIBLE. You simply cannot substantiate the claim that over time (say, 700 years from now) people’s lives will only be “superficially” safer. Based on what do you say that? Because your delusions will magically make hurricanes that the technology 700 years from now will not be able to detect on time, or harness their energy? Or maybe your delusions will make magical plagues that miraculously violate the laws of evolutionary biology, and then humanity’s medicine will be ineffective against it? These are simply assertions you cannot defend. Once again, your argument is entirely faith-based.

        Like

      • Fixated on the miniscule, unable to comprehend the larger conversation at hand, invents straw men which he slays, and actually believes he’s accomplished something. It’s an amusing, but broken record.

        Now clearly the concepts of market fluctuations and general trends are radically too complex for you to grasp. But then again, you are battling an imagined argument; an argument you “believe” has been made, despite what has actually been presented in black and white. You are also warring with reality, as presented in the population bloom video; a simple to understand graphic (simple, for sane folk, that is) which demonstrates the general trend of human expansion; a burgeoning of the human marketplace which has, over time, grown more complex, more diverse, more dependent, and ever, ever, ever more veracious in its plundering of natural resources.

        Are you, perhaps, denying that the human population has both increased exponentially, and grown more complex over time? And please don’t make me repeat for the umpteenth time that suffering does not simply mean mindless violence and death. Your continued evasion of reality and denial of what has been written is rather boring.

        And here’s a tremendous example of a deluded mind in action: “if the fluctuations don’t increase then your argument is meaningless.” Care to point to where I said anything about fluctuations having to increase. I’m guessing you’ll decline this request. You want to know why? Because there is no place where I said such a thing. Once again, you have created an imagined argument in your head, a straw man, which you have attacked like any lunatic would attack a phantom demon: with mindless gusto.

        And so, not only do we have a non-existent argument, it’s also impossible to understand what you’re even rambling on about. Why would anyone think “fluctuations” would follow some predictable pattern? Surely the very nature of what constitutes a “fluctuation” would imply relative un-predictableness, wouldn’t you say? That said, we do have massive increases in the depth and scope of these fluctuations in events like the Black Plague, Spanish Flu, and more recently in the global financial market meltdown; large scale events made possible, in-part, because of human population concentrations and global travel. Conversely, we have observed massive, seemingly positive fluctuations in mortality rates of certain populations after the adoption of vaccination policies. In the future, superbugs might well cull tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, while some miraculous GM corn might seriously dent child mortality rates in Sub-Saharan Africa… and so what if these events do unravel? Wouldn’t such happenings, positive and negative, fall under the banner of a “fluctuation”?

        Now, I do find your ramblings here especially cute, though. All caps, exclamation marks… It’s like a circus of uncut fury. I guess that’s what happens when you’re brawling with an imagined, non-existent argument.

        And my goodness, you’re still going on about the word “potential,” I see. I’m afraid to say it, but you, sir, have a dangerously serious problem with reading and comprehension. Take a breath. Calm yourself. Banish those voices in your head for a minute, and actually read what was written. Trust me, you’ll find the word “potential” there. Again, it means what is available, which is to say, the latent size of the market. But again, you probably won’t grasp this as you’re off in your own merry world, fighting with things that don’t exist.

        Like

      • Here is just one way to illustrate why your argument that “More bodies, doing more things, over longer times” = “suffering must increase” is total bunk.

        Let’s look at annual motor vehicle deaths. Now, as you know, every year we have more and more cars on the road in the US, traveling more miles, and longer distances. According to your argument this MUST mean that there should be more suffering (let’s say, in the form of more deaths from road accidents). Sure, there could be less deaths relative to the size of the growing population. But the ABSOLUTE number of deaths and injuries absolutely must increase. Otherwise, your argument is total bunk.

        Now let’s look at some Real World Data, and see if your argument has ANY merit. Well, you can look for yourself, but I’m warning you, this might shatter your little sociopathic worldview:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year
        So what does the real world data tell us? More people are driving in more cars, over longer distances every year (remember: “More bodies, doing more things, over longer times”?). Yet, the trend clears shows that, not only is the number of fatalities per millions of miles traveled is decreasing, and not only is the number of fatalities per capita decreasing, but the ABSOLUTE number of fatalities is decreasing as well. The total number peaked in the 70s (when the population was 2/3 of what it is now), and has been declining ever since – the exact opposite of what you claimed should happen.

        So once again, you present faith-based arguments that represent nothing in reality and that you cannot substantiate. And yet you still hope, for some inexplicable reason, that your fraud will go undetected. You are truly a man of great faith.

        Like

      • Road vehicles deaths. Are you serious, is that the pin-prick of an argument you’re going to present? LOL!

        In the US:
        1899 – 26 deaths.
        2013 – 35,500.

        Now, can you tell me which is the bigger number: twenty-six (26), or thirty-five thousand, five-hundred (35,500)? Let’s not stop there, though. Let’s look at injuries, shall we. 2,239,000! That’s two-million, two-hundred and thirty-nine thousand broken and maimed bodies, many quadriplegic, many more paraplegic, families who’ve lives have been turned upside down, and not to mention jobs lost and bankruptcy due to medical bills.

        But let’s look at some fluctuations. My, during the Second World War traffic fatalities decreased quite markedly. That’s interesting. There are some other brief downturns, short-lived decreases from one year to the next, but since 1899 the general trend is: up, up, and up! Do try and remember, its quality and quantity of suffering, not distribution per capita, that matters.

        Now, this is just the US. China last year had a whopping 276,000 traffic accident fatalities. India, 243,000. Brazil, 44,000. Russia 28,000. Vietnam, 22,000. Thailand, 26,000. Nigeria, 53,000. Indonesia, 42,000. Now, shall we look at the minor and severe injuries, the lives broken, the dreams dashed….

        Like

      • “Road vehicles deaths. Are you serious, is that the pin-prick of an argument you’re going to present? LOL!

        In the US:
        1899 – 26 deaths.
        2013 – 35,500.

        Now, can you tell me which is the bigger number: twenty-six (26), or thirty-five thousand, five-hundred (35,500)?”

        “…the general trend is: up, up, and up!”

        This is priceless. Obviously at this point you don’t even care that you lost the debate a long time ago. You’re simply trying to waste as much of my time as possible with blatantly disingenuous and deceitful claims. You even claim that the general trend is up. You repeat “up” three times and add an exclamation point – as if you’re trying to connivence yourself of your own fraud. How adorable.

        Now, remember, this is the argument you have to defend: “Suffering is guaranteed, and the Omnimalevolent designer has made it such that suffering is always increased over time.”

        The only thing that matters for your argument is the TREND for the FUTURE (the indefinite future, in fact. Not just the next 10 or 20 years). That is what you have to demonstrate – that “suffering is always increased over time.” Not that suffering has already increased and now it is steadily declining – that’s the exact opposite of what you had to demonstrate.

        So is suffering ALWAYS increasing over time? Please tell me, is the TREND up or down for the past 50 years? How about the past 40 years? 30 years? 20 years? I think you get the point. The trend is steadily declining, and has been steadily declining for decades – the exact opposite of what you had to demonstrate (“suffering is always increased over time”). There is not even the faintest sign that the trend will magically reverse, as it has been declining for the past 40 years.

        So the trend is steadily declining (both for deaths and for injuries), despite the fact that “More bodies, doing more things, over longer times.” Today the death rate is less than what it was in 1934 (even though the population is 2.5 times larger). So how does this substantiate your claim that increase in suffering is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world? When suffering is demonstrably DECLINING here? How does it substantiate your claims that “More bodies, doing more things, over longer times” = “increase in suffering”? The trend shows the exact opposite. Which means that your argument has been thoroughly debunked.

        And here is another gem of yours: “unable to comprehend the larger conversation at hand, invents straw men which he slays, and actually believes he’s accomplished something. It’s an amusing, but broken record.” – how perfectly does this describe what you’re doing. Defending the argument you DIDN’T make, while your theory is thoroughly debunked.

        Like

      • Why didn’t you answer my question? Here it is again, just in case you missed it:

        Can you tell me which is the bigger number: twenty-six (26), or thirty-five thousand, five-hundred (35,500)?

        Like

      • “You are also warring with reality, as presented in the population bloom video; a simple to understand graphic (simple, for sane folk, that is) which demonstrates the general trend of human expansion; a burgeoning of the human marketplace which has, over time, grown more complex, more diverse, more dependent, and ever, ever, ever more veracious in its plundering of natural resources.”

        You still don’t get it, do you? Your argument right now is basically this:

        Over the past 13 BILLION YEARS the GENERAL TREND has been that [insert a technology that will be introduced in the next 5 years] did not exist. Therefore, the GENERAL TREND shows that it is IMPOSSIBLE for [insert a technology that will be introduced in the next 5 years] to EVER exist.

        Now, any mature person with an education above the kindergarten-level can see the obvious flaw in your argument, but for some reason you cannot. The simple challenge to your argument is this: what is there to GUARANTEE that the GENERAL TREND you speak of will not change? Even though cellphones did not exist for 13 billion years, they exist now. And so the GENERAL TREND that held for 13 billion years (of cellphones not existing) has been broken.

        Yet, that is exactly what you have to demonstrate. That your “general trend” cannot EVER be broken.

        So for the millionth time. This is what you have to demonstrate: “Suffering is guaranteed, and the Omnimalevolent designer has made it such that suffering is always increased over time.” In other words, you have to substantiate your claim that increase in suffering is the ultimate, permanent, unalterable, state of the world.

        General trends are meaningless unless you can demonstrate that it is IMPOSSIBLE to break them. And can you demonstrate that? Of course not. Therefore, you lose the debate.

        “Are you, perhaps, denying that the human population has both increased exponentially, and grown more complex over time?”

        Again, what is to GUARANTEE that this trend will continue forever? That it will be the same 100 years from now, 5,000 years from now, 50,000 years from now, and 500,000,000 years from now? Please do tell me. How can you guarantee that this will be the case? Otherwise, your general trend is meaningless. I’ve already shown that trends that held 13 BILLION YEARS (much longer than any trend you’ve shown) have been reversed.

        “Care to point to where I said anything about fluctuations having to increase. “

        “Fluctuations” – triggers for suffering. If fluctuations don’t have larger impact, then there won’t be increase in suffering. Which means that you failed to prove what you had to prove.

        “Why would anyone think “fluctuations” would follow some predictable pattern? Surely the very nature of what constitutes a “fluctuation” would imply relative un-predictableness, wouldn’t you say?”

        No. I wouldn’t say. Because you’re assuming it is impossible to have better understanding of the laws that govern the world. With better understanding there are less things that are not predicted. Therefore, LESS “fluctuations.”

        “That said, we do have massive increases in the depth and scope of these fluctuations in events like the Black Plague, Spanish Flu, and more recently in the global financial market meltdown; large scale events made possible, in-part, because of human population concentrations and global travel. Conversely, we have observed massive, seemingly positive fluctuations in mortality rates of certain populations after the adoption of vaccination policies. In the future, superbugs might well cull tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, while some miraculous GM corn might seriously dent child mortality rates in Sub-Saharan Africa… and so what if these events do unravel? Wouldn’t such happenings, positive and negative, fall under the banner of a “fluctuation”?”

        And how can you GUARANTEE that a) events that negative fluctuations will continue to happen indefinitely (without humanity countering them with greater knowledge), and b) that such events will cause greater suffering all the time? There is nothing to GUARANTEE that this will happen. You just HOPE that this will be the case (therefore your argument is entirely faith-based). But you cannot guarantee that this trend will continue 100,000 years from now. Yet, that is EXACTLY what you have to demonstrate to substantiate your theory – that you can GUARANTEE this will be the case – FOREVER (and despite the fact that knowledge and technology constantly improves, thus making things more and more predictable and any destruction more preventable).

        “Trust me, you’ll find the word “potential” there. Again, it means what is available, which is to say, the latent size of the market. “

        Unless REAL suffering increases your argument is bunk.

        Like

      • Your ramblings are getting more and more incoherent, and that’s saying something, considering they started out from a rickety platform of traumatised nonsense.

        I suppose it’s not at all surprising then that the broken record continues to screech with absurdities plucked from the non-space of the madness you call “home.” “General trends are meaningless unless you can demonstrate that it is IMPOSSIBLE to break them.”

        Riddle me this: how do people today make plans for tomorrow, or the day after, if not by consulting, and relying on, general trends; stable, reliable, “meaningful” patterns (from environmental conditions to bus timetables) which enable them to predict the near future?

        You see, there are two people chatting here, but only one has his feet, and mind, firmly in reality. You, my fabulously delusional friend, rage against established and presently unfolding patterns, rebel against fixed facts, and scream at complete textbook histories of humanity, and then invest your entire furious [all caps, exclamation mark/s] argument on one simple, fragile plea: But we can change, and you can’t prove we can’t!

        That’s it. That’s the entire depth of your high-pitched shrill.

        Alas, yet again, I have to copy and paste what has already been written:

        “When you scream hopefully to the air “But we can change!” our Omnimalevolent Creator calmly replies, “Good.” Change and sporadic bursts of development keeps the killing fields fresh and forever plump.”

        You see, you should really pay attention to what’s been written. Perhaps you also missed this other part, so maybe I should repeat it just to save you performing another irrational, absurd, derailed rant:

        Is anyone claiming such preventative efforts are denied? As the Omnimalevolent Creator wishes there to be more bodies, doing more things, over longer times these efforts are not only welcomed, but encouraged. Preventing wide-scale destruction and massive population extinctions is desirable. How else, my naïve friend, would the Owner of All Infernal Names maximize his enjoyment? How else, my naïve friend, would the Owner of All Infernal Names celebrate the population bloom graphically demonstrated in the video? If our evil creator wished to maximize death alone he would never have allowed medicine to develop and flourish, choosing instead to let virulent diseases ravish forever tiny populations. If our evil creator wished to maximize death alone he would never have permitted agricultural technology and animal husbandry. If our evil creator wished to maximize death alone he would never have approved of the humble keel which vastly increased both the life expectancy of sailors and the scope of navigational possibilities… two things which enabled human settlements to spring up in once inaccessible geographic locations.

        Reading and comprehension. It pays to pay attention.

        Like

      • “Why didn’t you answer my question? Here it is again, just in case you missed it:

        Can you tell me which is the bigger number: twenty-six (26), or thirty-five thousand, five-hundred (35,500)?”

        Because you’re trying to waste my time. Your question is completely irrelevant to what you have to demonstrate. If you had to demonstrate that suffering has increased and now it is steadily declining then you’ve proved it. But that’s not what you had to prove, is it? So unless you explain how answering this question is relevant to what you have demonstrate I’m not going to keep entertaining your disingenuous diversions.

        Also, didn’t see you answer a question is actually is relevant to what you had to demonstrate, which is this:

        “So is suffering ALWAYS increasing over time? Please tell me, is the TREND up or down for the past 50 years? How about the past 40 years? 30 years? 20 years?”

        Remember:

        The only thing that matters for your argument is the TREND for the FUTURE (the indefinite future, in fact. Not just the next 10 or 20 years). That is what you have to demonstrate – that “suffering is always increased over time.” Not that suffering has already increased and now it is steadily declining – that’s the exact opposite of what you had to demonstrate.

        Like

      • “Riddle me this: how do people today make plans for tomorrow, or the day after, if not by consulting, and relying on, general trends; stable, reliable, “meaningful” patterns (from environmental conditions to bus timetables) which enable them to predict the near future?”

        This is getting very tiresome. You think you can win a debate through sophistry, but you cannot. So for the nth time, you have to demonstrate that suffering ALWAYS increases over time. Do you understand the meaning of the word “always”? Your “general pattern” should apply not from today to tomorrow, but from now and to ETERNITY! That’s the moronic claim you’ve made, and that’s the claim you have to defend. You keep trying to divert attention from the argument you have to defend by defending an argument you didn’t make. How precious.

        If all that your theory predicted was that in the very near future (let’s say, 10-25 years) suffering will increase, then we’d be having a very different conversation. But that is not what your theory predicted, is it?

        So how about you actually demonstrate what you have to demonstrate. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And boy did you make an extraordinary claim!

        You have to demonstrate that suffering ALWAYS increases over time. So if your defense is that there is a “general trend” of increase in suffering, please tell us why this trend will continue 1000 years from now and 5000 years from now. If you cannot demonstrate this then you cannot substantiate the claim that suffering ALWAYS increases over time with the “general trend” argument.

        As I said, your “general trend” argument in a nutshell is this:

        Over the past 13 BILLION YEARS the GENERAL TREND has been that [insert a technology that will be introduced in the next 5 years] did not exist. Therefore, the GENERAL TREND shows that it is IMPOSSIBLE for [insert a technology that will be introduced in the next 5 years] to EVER exist.

        Or, in your words: there is a “general trend” which shows that suffering has increased, therefore suffering ALWAYS increases over time.

        So unless you can demonstrate why it is impossible to permanently break (or reverse) your supposed “general trend,” that argument is irrelevant to what you have to demonstrate. Kapish?

        Like

      • “Your “general pattern” should apply not from today to tomorrow, but from now and to ETERNITY!”

        Eternity, huh? LOL! Are you trying to out-weird yourself? And while you’re considering that question, are we assuming a cyclic universe here, or one that will simply freeze over after the last atom of hydrogen is spent? Also, are you not aware that “tomorrow” is a generic term meaning, “the near future”? Honestly, do I have to explain each and every individual word to you? How old are you, anyway? By the way you plagiarise my word-plays I’m starting to suspect somewhere between 14 and 16, and definitely American.

        Now, any particular reason you’d like to give for simply ignoring that which has been repeated ad nauseam? Are those increasingly anxious voices telling you (yet again) to avoid, at all costs, actually addressing what is being presented in black and white? Is that mischievous Field Marshal ordering you to persist with a hilariously absurd assault on non-existent claims, made in a make-believe argument which exists only in the imaginary war room busily operating inside your mind? It would appear so.

        But do enlighten me. Let’s both simply ignore the fact that I’ve established (repeatedly) that change is good and thoroughly welcomed by our Omnimalevolent Creator, and ask you whether you have, perhaps, forgotten that you’re supposed to be defending the existence of your supposedly omnibenevolent Middle Eastern god, Yhwh… or have the facts on the ground made that an untenable, utterly hopeless situation for you?

        Alas, given the general trend already well-established here, I know you’ll simply ignore this question and flutter back to battling those claims which you “think” have been made, and repeat the only argument you have, to-date, been capable of presenting: “But we can change, and you can’t prove we can’t!”

        Like

      • “You, my fabulously delusional friend, rage against established and presently unfolding patterns, rebel against fixed facts, and scream at complete textbook histories of humanity, and then invest your entire furious [all caps, exclamation mark/s] argument on one simple, fragile plea: But we can change, and you can’t prove we can’t!

        That’s it. That’s the entire depth of your high-pitched shrill.”

        Not at all. I’m perfectly fine with the facts. It is you who should be worried, since the facts don’t align with your predictions. After all, you must demonstrate that your “general trend” can never be reversed, since according to you suffering must ALWAYS increase over time.

        Yet, I’ve already demonstrated that “general trends” of far grander scope and magnitude – trends of evolutionary, geological, and cosmological scope – have been shattered forever, in a heartbeat. Trends that held for billions of years! What is your little 2000 year “general trend” of “population bloom” compared to a 13 billion year trend of nonexistence of cellphones? And yet, despite a litany of hard evidence, carefully collected over billions of years of cellphones not existing, the prediction that cellphones must ALWAYS not exist over time was shattered – forever. Because of a sudden “fluctuation” of cellphones beginning to exist.

        And so, this puts you in a very precarious situation. It turns out that there are countless such predictions that were proven wrong. And so, the question is, what makes your prediction any different? What is there to guarantee that suffering must ALWAYS increase over time? Despite the overwhelming majority of other similarly ridiculous predictions that failed?

        Like

      • Why did you avoid answering my question again? I would have thought it quite an easy question to answer. Are you perhaps having trouble deciphering the letters and words?

        Here, one more time:

        Can you tell me which is the bigger number: twenty-six (26), or thirty-five thousand, five-hundred (35,500)?

        Like

      • “Why did you avoid answering my question again? I would have thought it quite an easy question to answer. Are you perhaps having trouble deciphering the letters and words?”

        Once again you demonstrate that you would do absolutely everything in your power to postpone the inevitable and avoid the unavoidable. Your strategy? Avoid at all costs defending your argument by diverting the discussion to topics that are completely irrelevant to it. Thus wasting as much of my time as you possibly can.

        As I said, I will answer your question as soon as you explain how it is relevant, directly or indirectly, to your arguments. Remember, you have to demonstrate two things here:
        a) that “More bodies doing more things over a longer time” = “suffering must increase” and b) suffering ALWAYS increases over time.

        Unless you explain how your question is relevant to either one of these I’m not going to waste my time by playing your silly games.

        While you’re at it, you can also answer my question (which is actually relevant to your arguments):

        “So is suffering ALWAYS increasing over time? Please tell me, is the TREND up or down for the past 50 years? How about the past 40 years? 30 years? 20 years?”

        Like